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THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

★★★

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jess Fenton
19th November 2013
The sequel to any insanely successful film doesn’t always guarantee that it will be better - definitely bigger, but not always better. Luckily for 'The Hunger Games' follow up ‘Catching Fire’, it’s both. After pocketing almost $700 million the first time around, and with a freshly minted Oscar winner already cemented as their star, bucketloads of money have simply been thrown at this production, knowing it will be returned 10-fold. Fortunately, Suzanne Collins’ books have provided a rich dystopian world to pull from, ensuring that there is also quality to go along with the quantity.

Sporting a new director, Francis Lawrence (‘I Am Legend’), Gary Ross left the project sighting insufficient pre-production time, and new screenwriter, Academy award-winning Simon Beaufoy (‘Slumdog Millionaire’), ‘Catching Fire’ is simply “more”. While the first film was deemed a success critically, some still found it a little soft and boring considering the subject matter - well, let's just say that those concerns have well and truly been quashed for round two. Firstly, the stakes are much, much higher. What’s more important than saving your own life? How about the lives of millions? On the cusp of a nation-wide revolution with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) as the rebellion’s symbol of hope, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) looks to reignite fear in Panem’s population. So long as there is hope there is no fear. The victors represent hope, and so Snow initiates the “Quarter Quell”, a 75th anniversary Hunger Games which gathers its tributes from the pool of past victors.

SWITCH: 'THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE' INTERNATIONAL TRAILER

The arena for the 75th games is a luscious tropical setting that features a fresh batch of barbaric and horrifying ploys to kill and destroy, with a sophisticated twist. Featuring a varying array of new and old potential allies, there’s something deliciously messed up about this particular games that inspires a mixed bag of emotions and experiences.

Watching this film in IMAX, this film is quite spectacular - being fully immersed in its jungle and beach settings, it's almost as though you can reach out and touch the water.

Magnetic performances all around, this is a great ensemble cast of new and familiar faces including Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Surely no fan can be disappointed with this incarnation, and its edge-of-your seat pace and grittier story will excite and bring in new and soon to be loyal fans.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 21/11/2013
RUN TIME: 2h 26m
CAST: Jennifer Lawrence
Josh Hutcherson
Liam Hemsworth
Amanda Plummer
Patrick St Esprit
Lynn Cohen
Jena Malone
Sam Claflin
Elizabeth Banks
Stanley Tucci
DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence
WRITER: Simon Beaufoy
PRODUCERS: Nina Jacobson
Jon Kilik
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