The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is based on part two of a trilogy of stories. Part one made enough money to support the entire world for six months and still show a profit. Part two is already on course for a gazillion dollars.
In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence returns as the heroine and shoots lots of arrows. Donald Sutherland is, again, the bad guy running the government. Philip Seymour Hoffman is added as an assistant bad guy. Stanley Tucci returns as the emcee of the show.
Woody Harrelson is still coaching the combatants from District 12. Liam Hemsworth, brother of Chris Hemsworth (Thor), shows staying power. Jack Quaid, son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid and nephew of Randy Quaid, is added as a new combatant. JQ should make enough money from this film to rescue Uncle Randy from all his problems.
The story connects the events of part one and parts three (and beyond) that will follow.
Things are still horrible in the 12 Districts where all lower classes live. The big city where the elite and government reside is like the space station Elysium, in the movie of the same name. Through a governmental trick, and a rules change, former winners of the gladiator contests have to return and fight it out again. This is like telling Super Bowl winners they have to replay the entire season before they get the trophy.
The first hour and 15 minutes is a lot of anguish, soap opera and misery. The second hour, when the games begin, is a lot better. This time everyone is much more experienced. No really young children. Since the games are now in their 75th edition, even a combatant from the home for the gray and elderly, who calls all her competitors Bingo, is in the fight – although she has to be carried around a lot because walkers aren’t allowed in the combat arena.
In HGCF we don’t see as much violent death as the first time around. We just hear the explosions of the death cannon, and see the deceased each night in sky pictures. Most of the threats faced by the combatants come from the strange and never-ending sequence of natural events which keeps them running. Who knew monkeys and fog could be so dangerous?
The film ends with an obvious set up for the upcoming sequels. The next film in the series would normally be based on the last book. But the studio said NO, NO, NO, and copied the Harry Potter formula: One long film (now in production) to be released in two parts in 2014 and 2015. The titles will be THG: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2, both based on the third book.
All of the original cast will show up with bigger paydays, and instead of banking the money they buy a bank to hold their money. The production companies are making an offer on Fort Knox to hold their money. Check the opening weekend box office results and you’ll see that I am correct.
Rated 3.0 out of 4.0 parts out of 3.0 books. As Harry Potter would say to the cast and crew: bibbidi-bobbidi-boo… more money coming in for you.