The Hunger Games sequel is most definitely the biggest movie out right now. And let me be the first to admit that I was skeptical about how good this movie would be. If you were around this time last year, you know that I was UBER excited about The Hunger Games, and far too disappointed. I am by no means a fan of the first film. I thought it went too far off the book and just did not capture the story I fell in love with. In order to at the very least be indifferent about Catching Fire, I made sure to stay away from all the hype. I didn't watch any of the previews or look into the new cast members. I stayed neutral. And those odds definitely played in my favor.
If you haven't read the books, you should do that first. I absolutely loved them! As I mentioned, I was not a fan of the first movie. Many will disagree, but I tried to give it a chance one too many times, and it just did not work for me. Catching Fire picks up a bit after The Hunger Games ends with Katniss Everdeen(Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark(Josh Hutcherson) about to go on their Victory Tour. Then of course they are hit with the worst news ever, they have to go back into the Hunger Games.
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed Catching Fire. It moved a lot quicker than the first and followed the book a lot more closely. The last one was far too slow, and they did not put in my favorite parts of the book and then went on to add parts that were never a part of the book. I did not appreciate that, so I was so happy they stuck to the right material. The actual games went by rather quickly in the film, whereas the majority of the movie was leading up to it. The end was just as quick as the first. Where we know it is being set up for the next, but it is not quite finished either.
Also, the main concern on everyone's mind was of course how Finnick was going to be. Most, including myself, were iffy on Sam Claflin being the casting choice. And considering Finnick is supposed to basically be the most beautiful man ever, it is safe to say no one was ever going to be worthy. However, Claflin definitely has the acting chops, he fit right in with the cast and did pretty well. I was not as displeased as I thought I would be.
Aside from the other tributes, the only key addition to the film was Plutarch Heavensbee(Philip Seymour Hoffman), who seems so bland in comparison to the rest of the Capitol, but is rather fantastic. I enjoyed that they made it a point to remember Rue in this film, because that was my major issue with the first, that there was not enough Rue/Katniss time. The core cast were also great, Jennifer Lawrence really cannot do wrong. In the eyes of everyone. Plus, she had some amazing facial expressions. My friends and I realized how useless Peeta is, the character to be clear, Josh Hutcherson is okay. I still think him and JLaw look totally weird together considering he looks like a 5-year-old next to her. But Peeta has no defense skills, it is amazing he stays alive. Then again, we are all Team Peeta, because Gale(Liam Hemsworth) is just whatever. And of course we cannot forget the comic reliefs of the movie, Haymitch(Woody Harrelson), Effie(Elizabeth Banks) and Caesar Flickerman(Stanley Tucci). They are both perfect for their roles! And I swear I love Woody Harrelson more with every film I see him in! I could go on, but you should just go see it and come back here to discuss!
If you get the chance, go check it out! If you are a fan of the books or the first movie, it's a must!
Have you seen Catching Fire yet? What did you think?