One of the biggest surprises of 2012 was ‘The Hunger Games’. Bringing in a staggering $408 million as an early Spring release, ‘The Hunger Games’ introduced audiences to the Young Adult book series like no other film has. The film also pushed Jennifer Lawrence to superstar status as an actress, something that was only strengthened by her subsequent Best Actress Oscar for another film.
With that result from early 2012, it was a given that the remaining two books of the series would be filmed as well, and that is where we are, with the second book in the series, Catching Fire, being made into ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’.
The first thing that I want to get out of the way is the running time of ‘Catching Fire’. Coming at 146 minutes, or nearly two and half hours, the time can seem daunting going into the film, but I will say this, at no point during the film was I worried about how long it was going to be, and at the end of the film, I actually was shocked that it had been the full run time. That is a great sign for the film, the fact that two and a half hours goes by pretty much unnoticeably.
‘Catching Fire’ ups the ante on the action, with over an hour of action in the arena, but the key thing that is a difference between the first and second films is on the political side. This film furthers the story of the seeds of rebellion that the main characters Katniss and Peeta sowed at the end of the first film. While the twist at the end may be a little too obvious to anyone that is looking, it does fit well with the way the story went.
‘The Hunger Games’ franchise, even with a change of directors between the first film and the second, seems to be in great hands moving forward, is benefiting immensely from the amazing casting choices, and with two more films yet to come as the third book, Mockingjay, is being split up, the next two November’s promise even more visits to Panem and the future political upheaval.
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