The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Out Now On-Demand

Every revolution begins with a spark.

The second entry in the post-apocalyptic thriller franchise sees the return of Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta. Still troubled by the violent events of the first film, the duo are sent on a tour of the districts to celebrate their achievement, but as open rebellion threatens to break out, the rulers of Panem throw them back into a fight for their lives. Directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend).

After surviving the last Hunger Games, Katniss' actions have ingnited the hint of a revolution within the districts. But the iron fist with which they are ruled proves stronger than ever and Katniss is again forced into the role of propaganda tool and combatant, facing off in another deadly free-for-all tournament - this time going up against victors from previous years. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jena Malone join the cast alongside returning co-stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Donald Sutherland.

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Directed by

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Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller

146mins

Rating: M Mature themes and violence

USA

Official Site

Revisiting the dystopian setting of last year’s The Hunger Games, Catching Fire makes even more of Jennifer Lawrence’s rising star than its precursor. Like her character Katniss, the actress continues to reveal hidden strengths both when this sequel demands more range in her performance and when she’s simply required to cover familiar ground.

Throughout Catching Fire there’s a much stronger sense of a tangible world being built than in The Hunger Games, not so much expanded as enriched and made more plausible. Donald Sutherland and Philip Seymour Hoffman offer suitable menace and the more outlandish supporting cast, chiefly Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks, themselves serve up believable (dare I say nuanced) performances.

The public revolt that simmers along in the background and the way it is dealt with by Panem’s rulers add further depth and context, thankfully without drowning the film in allegory or subtext. That’s tribute to fresh incoming director Francis Lawrence, who displays a little more flair and maturity in tone than his displaced predecessor, and screenwriter Michael Arndt, whose forced departure from the upcoming Star Wars sequel is disappointing given the efficient, effective script on offer here.

For all this, it’s hard to shake the sense of déjà vu as the film’s narrative follows the trajectory of The Hunger Games a little too closely. Despite Katniss being more damaged and seeing things more cynically, events play out in familiar fashion, even if the motives and stakes differ. While Catching Fire is eminently watchable it lacks the surprise factor of the earlier film even while serving as a bridge to its own anything-could-happen sequels, cruelly teased in a cliffhanger ending.

Empire (UK)

press

This second grittier, more confident round of Hunger Games thrills us into submission.

Guardian (UK)

press

Not quite a full course, more of an amuse bouche, making its mammoth audience hungry for future, meatier instalments.

Hollywood Reporter

press

A safe, serviceable, carefully crafted action drama in which the subversive seeds planted in the first story take welcome root.

Time Out London

press

The keepers of Suzanne Collins's trilogy of fantasy novels have dodged the perils of the sloppy second franchise film.

Total Film (UK)

press

Expands Suzanne Collins' novel beyond the confines of the arena to tackle some seriously brutal truths.

Variety (USA)

press

Makes for rousing entertainment in its own right, leaving fans riled and ready to storm the castle.

Dissolve (USA)

press

It’s not just bigger, it’s better, and it bodes well for the future of the series, if not necessarily of its unlucky protagonist.

false

Wasn't much of a fan of the first one but this was superb, shaking off a lot of the teenage angst that was found in the first. This one is all grown up.


On Fire

The second instalment of the Hunger Games boasted a budget of close to $140mil, the original cast (shooting was delayed to allow Jennifer Lawrence to complete her part in the sequel to X-Men). And was assured greatness…and it delivered. Exceeding the hype from the first instalment The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has already earned close to $1Billion world-wide (over $800Mil of that just from North America).

The story picks up Katniss and Peeta a short time after winning the 74th Hunger Games and pretty much launches us on an action packed and moving fun ride the whole family will enjoy.

In fact if your entire family do not enjoy this film I would buy a new one and watch it again with them.

A rocket riding 4/5 from me.

AaronG

Aaron

user


Managed to captivate in a way the novel couldn't.

Following the enjoyment of the first film, I went and read the trilogy this series in based upon. I was immediately worried for the future of the film series. Those worried were gone the second I started watching Catching Fire. The spectacle and the intrigue translates perfectly to film, and the arena scenes (easily the best part of the novel) is delivered marvellously. Moving the point of view to those other than Katniss brings a freshness to the film and enables for a more solid story.


A Science Fiction Fantasy

This story is more solid than the first one.The characters are more mature.The new director has done away with the shaky camera work.It is slow to get going but carefully weaves around to softly develop the characters and story.

The games seen to be more about science fiction and looses the connection with the skills of the contestants.(Spoiler Alert!)The group get blisters from a toxic gas which they can suddenly wash of with water!It just gets plain weird.It all becomes too much when Katniss can harness a lighting bolt,fires an arrow with a wire attached into the sky and destroys the dome,which then cuts the power!

But it is still an interesting concept for a story.


Surpasses the First!

Moving on from the child slaughter of the first film we see a more mature nature this time around, Really witnessing what happens when the power the rules decides to wield its mighty hand to ensure its terms are met. Can the rebelling enslaved actually make a difference? We would all like to hope so... To be continued... Great sequel a must watch for Hunger Games Fans!!


Great film (terrible ending).

Catching Fire is no kids' film. It is gritty, tough and incredibly brutal. The world Katniss & Peeta inhabit is a bleak one, but it contains just enough of a glimmer of hope to get them (& you) through it all. Then it ends.


no one like Jeniifer Lawrence

Loved the dude saying "she the girl on fire"


not enough games

Felt too much time was spent on the lead up to the games and not on the game. Loved that whole family went. Even teenagers who haven't been with us in months


Hungry for More

Hunger Games : Catching Fire

Pretty good follow up movie, just found it a little slow in parts (I will eventually read the books now). Enjoyed the special effects and the new actors, bringing some more realism to the screen. I found the ending kinda just dropped & stopped, like 'Breaking Dawn pt1', but other than that it was pretty average. Reminded me of 'Host' for some reason.

Genre : Book, Action, Adventure, girlie.

3/5 : Just felt sort of flatter than the first, still leaving me wanting to read the book series and waiting for the next installment...


Better than the 1st one.

I was never a fan of the 1st film, actually thought it was rather boring. But this time I was dragged along by my step daughter who insisted that I go with her. I will say it a lot more enjoyable than 1st movie. I got a bit tired of Jennifer Lawerence having the same expression on her face but to be honest after watching this I will go willingly to the next one.