Let me tell you straight, the film is fantastic! There is one caveat—it’s not easy to watch. Even knowing what happens from having read the book, I found myself on the edge of my seat. And I’m pretty sure I may have experienced elevated blood pressure.
Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful complement to both the previous movie—which I saw 4 times in the theater—and Suzanne Collins’ work. It’s been a while since I pored over the text but didn’t notice any glaring departures.
As with any film adaptation, there are differences from the source material due to varied interpretation as well as budgetary and time constraints. In this case, time was used judiciously (nearly 2.5 hours) and pacing kept things moving at a comfortable clip. Special effects were considerably improved over the 1995-esque look of its predecessor, though still lacking for such a major cinematic event. But this is Catching Fire, there’s enough going on that you won’t dwell on over-exaggerated CGI moments. I’m being as vague as possible to avoid spoilers, because I had some complaints over my first Man of Steel review. Can’t win for tryin’.
The returning cast members pick up their roles as if they’d never left the set. Truly, they’re as wonderfully paired with their characters as one could hope—unless you thought they were miscast to begin with, in which case you are wrong.
Moreover, they all seem to find their stride in this installation. It’s just…gah! So stinking good!
I should probably take this opportunity to declare my massive girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence. I want her to be my friend and let me borrow her personal trainers and stylists (but not the people who advised the pixie haircut and atrocious dress she wore at the LA premiere). I want to eat junk food with her and say snarky things. sigh
Anyway, you neeeeeeeed to go see Catching Fire when it hits theaters on Friday. If you haven’t seen the first film, do that stat, because it’s an important foundation.
If you can’t stand the tension of another Hunger Games flick, check out Thor: The Dark World. It’s spectacularly entertaining and just plain fun to watch.
And if you’re still looking for a way to kill some time this weekend, go see Catching Fire again.
I intend to.