Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Review: Catching Fire (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright
Writers: Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt

Kind of torn about watching this movie. You see the first movie I watched and liked but was very put off by the visual style, especially the shaky cam which got me sick during the actions scenes. When it was announced a new director would be used for the sequel I was happy, but then I found out it was Francis Lawrence. Now I like Mr Lawrence but his other movies are often let down by some bad CGI. So considering this is a big science fiction movie there are some alarm bells.

Fortunately it seems all my worrying was for naught as the budget was suffiecient enough to give us some great effects, as well as allowing Francis Lawrence to really open up the world. Some of the IMAX shots are beautiful and really allow you to bask in the games. Speaking of the games, I had a much easier time watching the action and was ever thankful for it.

The acting is also really kicked up a notch thanks to the introduction of some classy actors. Jeffrey Wright is awesome as Beetee, a former Hunger Games winner. Phillip Seymour Hoffman also adds a nice sinister note as Plutarch, the new games creator. Of course one of the strengths of the first movie was the original cast, and they don't disappoint. Donald Sutherland is given more to do, which is great for his villain, but then most of the cast are given more to do and it really helps us get into the minds of the characters. Jennifer Lawrence is yet again fantastic and really plays up PTS side of Katniss. However my MVP of this movie has to be Jena Malone as Johanna. Another former winner of the Hunger Games, her character is ferocious and yet also endearing in the small amount of time she's given. She's definitely the most memorable new character in my opinion.

Acting the side the story is also allowed to develop and become more complex. Alot of the themes and ideas introduced in the first movie that I loved are given a bit more room to breathe. However in the complexity there comes the problem of fitting everything in. The movie is very long considering it's younger target audience. While it wasn't a problem for me I can see some people being turned away. It takes a while to get to the games but I loved every step.

Another problem I saw was that the main story seems to have a significant plot hole. Can't get into it because of spoilers but needless to say it seemed very obvious and was distracting from the overall enjoyment. It's pretty major but at least didn't derail the enjoyment overall so i'm still aboard for the next lot of movies.

This is a movie that's designed for a teen girl market. Strong female character trapped in a love triangle and forced to face a massive challenge that will define her life. However there is material that elevates it above the standard Twilight like fare. I'm down for the next lot of films.

0.5 Mockingjay out of 1
At 2 hours 30 I never felt the length of time but some may.
0.5 Mockingjay out of 1
Interesting ideas, solid story but a big plot hole could of been dealth with better.
1 Mockingjay out of 1
Excellent acting. I may now have a crush on Jena Malone
1 Mockingjay out of 1
Francis Lawrence brings his awesome style to the proceedings.
1 Mockingjay out of 1
Things just look at lot better and feel a lot more epic.

4 Mockingjay's out of 5
A better movie than the first, an improvement in every way.

1 comment:

  1. a nice and neat review mate really accurate. I even consider catching fire as the movie of the year lol