The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Jennifer Lawrence is a badass. Use of this theatrical poster for commentary qualifies as Fair Use. Click for source.

This weekend I was apparently one of many who saw the new Hunger Games movie. When I read the books, Catching Fire was my favorite of the series.  But I have always been excited for these books to be turned into movies.  The characters are interesting and the story is awesome, but the writing was pretty dry.  It seemed like the perfect book to be turned into a screenplay.

The first movie was well cast, and it shows in this newest edition.  Catching Fire did an excellent job of showing us a lot more of Panem, while bringing back a lot of the intensity of the arena.  Katniss in the book is not the most lovable or relateable character (who can relate to a 17 year old girl who has murdered other children in armed combat).  But Jennifer Lawrence’s interpretation is pretty awesome.  She brings badass new meaning, while also conveying the serious challenges of balancing both her personal desires to keep her old life and her new role as a pawn in a much larger social struggle.

The creation of the world of Panem was again, very well done, in a way the book simply couldn’t produce.  The arena especially looked incredible. Of course, as with most movie adaptations, there’s never enough room for everything in the book. I’m sure once the movie system has collapsed and we move to book adaptations becoming 5 part Netflix or HBO series, the stories will become much richer, but for now this did as much as it could.  Having more background on Finnick would have been nice, along with maybe even more from President Snow.  But those complaints aren’t many.

Catching Fire is action packed, but emotional.  You really do feel the helplessness of the people in Panem, and especially Katniss and Peeta, as their world crumbles.  It had one of the best openings of all time, and rightly so. If you get a chance, go see this movie.