I rented this 3/7/2014 (when it came out) because there were no other interesting movies to rent and I liked the first one when I saw it on Netflix. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to see it. The first one turned me into a fan.
The thing about being a fan, though, is, like life, fan-dom exists in a spectrum. Some people wear team-baseball hats to games, other people dress up like man dogs and bark at people (I’m looking at you Cleveland). While I like The Hunger Games series, I feel like I have no authority to speak on it. It’s on that Harry Potter/ Lord of the Rings/ Star Wars level that if I say something, or try to say something about it, it’ll have some sort of convoluted flaw that will make my entire analysis/review wrong.
So I’m not going to do a review. I’m going to do a reaction (A week-later reaction – not to be confused with my week-long attempt to watch “American Hustle.”). I liked Catching Fire. I thought it was good. It’s no Empire Strike’s Back (in the scope of trilogies – or maybe it is) but it piqued my interest for the third movie (and reminded me that Phillip Seymour Hoffman died – which made me sad).
A quick second on Jennifer Lawrence: has there ever been a hero from a franchise like this to go on to the other roles she is doing? Daniel Radcliffe has been good in some independent movies but has not really out done his “Harry” shadow. I can’t name any of the other hobbits outside of Elijah Wood. Maybe she is the Harrison Ford of the new generation (although Ford really wasn’t the lead in Star Wars). I think that pairing sort of fits. Regardless, in terms of current films, I think her success is unprecedented (Maybe Will Smith? But Fresh Prince was no Hunger Games). Oh, I forgot all about the Twilight series. I think that compares. The Triumvirate of Vampire/Girl/Wolf haven’t done much outside of the roles in those films (although they have had lead roles in projects) that is on the level of J-Law either.
I think the best compliment I can give this movie is I didn’t want it to end. I felt the same way I did at the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – I was emotionally invested and wanted to see what happened next. I might go see Mockingjay (the next one) in theaters because I am that curious.
Well, I don’t know if that helps any of you. I always like to give a little guidance in relation to the movie going experience, but I think I am a little under-qualified to speak on the franchise (or I just don’t want to have to deal with the enormous size of the franchise). Part of me always thinks that when movies are made from popular books like this that I should stay away from the critique if I haven’t experienced both book and film. My opinion on the movie as a whole is I liked it. It was entertaining, suspenseful and (as I said earlier) left me wanting more. It was intriguing to see the world of Peeta and Katniss post first Hunger Games and I liked that a lot of the film centered around the emotional toll it had on them. And then, of course, who doesn’t like the prospect of a little revolution?
Bottom line, go watch it. It’s worthy of a four dollar rental and is a good way to spend your Saturday afternoon.