It’s scary to see how completely the juvenile-gladiator element (the only daring idea in the franchise) has been emasculated; the second half of Catching Fire is a rather generic, bloodless adventure with only a wisp of moral uneasiness. Friends don’t turn on each other (even Toy Story 3 offered more ambivalence), the deaths mostly take place offscreen, and they’re mostly people we don’t even know.
The sharp, navigable, frequently funny script is credited to Simon Beaufoy (assorted Danny Boyle movies, including Slumdog Millionaire) and Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3, Brave). Neither of them was crazy enough to overthink this. Collins has done the strategizing and has espoused a worldview. They just have to realize it.
One of Catching Fire’s biggest problems is the dilution of the ingredients that made The Hunger Games so gripping… With Catching Fire picking up in the same place of its book equivalent, the initial drama is over, the concept a given, and the aftermath is all that’s left, an aftermath that as it turns out, involves melodramatic two-handed conversations galore.
(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...
It started reaaally slow and then it showed the goods. It was always gonna be difficult to adapt a second book in a trilogy (not that i've actually read it) and the ending couldn't have been more rushed, but I think they did a pretty decent job (BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT). What really bothers me was that some great supporting charachters did show up but weren't exactly explored. I liked it but it was kinda frustrating.