Friday, 23 June 2017

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

If ever there was a movie that suffered from middle chapter-itis, this is it ... even though, since they made four films in the Hunger Games series, it's not strictly speaking the middle.  At least until the end of the picture.

Anyway, Catching Fire exists pretty much solely to set up Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2, and it more or less just retreads the plot of the original Hunger Games to do it.  The evil, corrupt oppressive Capitol is evil, corrupt and oppressive, and Katniss Everdeen has to go into a manufactured death match with 23 other people because of evil, corrupt and oppressive reasons.

Now, I knew that restraint wasn't going to be a feature of the Hunger Games series when the first book had all the dead competitors return as science fiction werewolves to make another stab at killing Katniss, but seriously, I'm pretty sure the only reason none of the bad guys in this movie have moustaches is because they twirled them so hard they fell off.

Okay yes, I guess Donald Sutherland technically has a moustache since he has a beard, but it's my review and I'll hyperbole how I want to.

In any case, there are colossally silly and arbitrary evil guy plans and even sillier good guy plans, and a lot of stylish action sequences, and Jennifer Lawrence frankly giving the material a lot more gravitas than it deserves with a strong performance.  We also get introduced to a bunch of new characters who I assume will continue to feature in the remaining two films.  I for one look forward to seeing more from the crazy lady with the axe.

But outside expanding the cast?  The entire 140-minute run time of this film could be pretty much encapsulated in the "Every Revolution" tagline on the DVD cover above.

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