Movie Review: Catching Fire

-by Joanna Grill- Catching Fire – spoiler alert!

catching-fire-movie-posterHave you seen Catching Fire? The much-anticipated continuation of The Hunger Games saga has finally been released, and just like the first movie, it has not failed to please. The film adaption of Catching Fire, the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy written by Suzanne Collins, opened in theaters in its opening weekend with a whopping estimated $161.6 million at the box office, setting a record for best November debut of all time. The movie picked up where the first movie had finished and began with more tense and emotional scenes of the Victory Tour. The movie jumps forward into the 75th Hunger Games – with a huge surprise. The special effects and graphics leave you speechless with their real-life staging. Those who have read the book will note the accuracy of the film adaption and see the same messages and themes delivered. Many of the themes from the first movie, such as manipulation by the Capitol and the importance of hope versus fear, continue in Catching Fire.

The characters, dressed in stunning costumes, were portrayed excellently by some familiar faces and some newcomers, such as Sam Claflin playing Finnick O’Dair and Jena Malone playing Johanna Mason.

The viewer gets a thorough look at Katniss emotionally, as much of the movie is focused on events prior to the 75th Annual Games. Jennifer Lawrence brought in another sensational performance portraying Katniss and her mental instability after the last Games. In Catching Fire, Katniss often she feels like she is reliving the Games, and she experiences several horrific dreams and mental breakdowns throughout the movie.

Despite the violence of the Games, the dramatic beginning, and the tense tone of the movie, there is still quite a bit of much needed comic relief. Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth Banks, is exceptionally funny, as is Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman.

The movie concludes just as the book did, leaving you excited for the next book’s film adaption, which will be split into two movies. The cast is currently filming Mockingjay parts 1 and 2, which will be released in November 2014 and November 2015 respectively. Although the release date might seem far away, here are five things to look forward to for Mockingjay!

1) Finding out what really happened to Peeta

2) Many new actors such as Julianne Moore, who will play President Coin

3) Will Katniss end up with Peeta or Gale?

4) How well will the film adaptations follow the book?

5) Will the Mockingjay movies be better than their predecessors?

Only one way to find out! Get excited!

images courtesy of thewrap.com and sciencefiction.com