(USA, 146 min.)
Dir. Francis Lawrence, Writ. Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone.
|Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson)|
in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Photo credit: Murray Close
The odds weren’t in the favour of Catching Fire, but the second installment in the Hunger Game franchise is on par with the original film. The Hunger Games has even more street cred this time around now that Katniss (aka the consistently amazing Jennifer Lawrence) is an Oscar winner and is joined by some equally talented newcomers to the franchise like Jeffery Wright, Amanda Plummer, Jena Malone, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The added pedigree (of which the franchise already had plenty) shows how this adaptation of the Suzanne Collins trilogy is in a league above most other teen lit fare. Catching Fire is, above all, solid and breathless entertainment, but it’s also a smart allegory with its finger on the pulse of contemporary culture. Despite having to meet the very high critical and commercial expectations set by the first film, Catching Fire holds its own.