(Spoiler alert, don't read) This was hard to watch. And I am in absolute distrust that it has any resemblance to the plot of the book. Because it's almost a remake of the first movie.The lead character of the first movie competes in another Hunger Game. And the movie has the same plot. The first part the preparation, then the epic fight. Nothing else. Why make two exact movies? No writer would write two exact books.
I know this was a long movie, but it somehow felt rushed - especially in the arena. Jennifer Lawrence was great, and so were Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Lenny Kravitz (Cinna was my favorite character in the books). As with most adaptations, the book is better (there are so many more details in it), but it was still a very gripping and entertaining movie.
Like the novel on which is based, CATCHING FIRE feels a bit like a larger scale retread of the original. But it differs from its source material in that it is actually better than the first film. Makes great use out of the expanded budget by delivering a more believable dystopian world without sacrificing the novel's mounting political tension and emotional resonance. A strong, often surprising blockbuster.
All the bad trappings of bad sequels - a shameless retread of the first with added bloat while "upping the ante" in all the most predictable ways. I actually enjoyed the first one's dystopian blight light for teenager so...
A step up from the first film, at least in terms of film craft. The acting was a little less wooden while the camera work and special effects were more refined (although still CGI-centred). But, as expected, the politics continue in their pathetically flimsy and juvenile approach to something that's been explored many times before (without the ironic expense of $140 million). Non-essential but highly entertaining.