Creative insights, thoughtful opinions, and lessons learned.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Review

This is one of those rare instances where I can say I really enjoyed the movie a lot more than I did the book, and I think the actors had a lot to do with it.  I was surprised to find myself invested in aspects of the story that didn’t really grab me when I read the book.  I read the book a second time before watching the movie, and I still wasn’t blown away by it, so needless to say I walked into this movie with low expectations.

The Hunger Games - Catching Fire (2013) movie poster

After leaving the theater, however, I felt compelled to read the second book again.  Of course, I haven’t done so because I have a long list of other books to read, in addition to not having a whole lot of time to read them all at the moment.

The cast, in my opinion, seemed to have stronger chemistry with one another this time around.  I got more of a “we’re family” type of vibe while watching the movie, which I appreciated.  I also thought the actors seemed more comfortable as they acted their roles.  In the first movie, I felt some of their acting was a little over-the-top or forced.  In Catching Fire, I felt there was more balance.

Yes, there were definitely noticeable changes from the book.  Honestly, I think that’s something anyone should expect from a movie “based on a true story” or “based on a best-selling novel,” etc.  While those who were hoping the filmmakers would stay completely true to the novel might shake their fists at this movie, personally I thought it all worked quite well.  After all, a movie making me want to pick up a book I didn’t think was anything above average I think is saying something.

While the fight scenes are not as bloody as the book, the fact that they were toned down to cater to a PG-13 audience didn’t really ruin how much I did or didn’t enjoy the movie, but of course this is coming from someone who has low tolerance for extreme and gory violence, so feel free to take that opinion with a grain of salt.

I was discussing this movie with a friend of mine the other day who said they were disappointed with how the filmmakers chose to end the movie.  (The collective groans from the audience I was a part of seem to support this statement.)  Truthfully though, I wasn’t all that surprised seeing as how the third book is going to be split into two installments.

On that note, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but it drives me absolutely crazy that ever since Harry Potter (at least, that’s the first movie I remember doing this), the last book always gets split into two movies.  While I understand this is a way for studios to earn extra money, I still find it annoying.

FINAL VERDICT: B+

Admittedly, this entry has been sitting in my draft queue for what feels like forever.  I started this entry back in December of last year, according to the site.  For the most part, my abrupt silence was due to things being rather busy for me; I’m currently in the middle of a few projects that have been taking up most of my time and energy.  Seeing as how I’ve always viewed this blog as more of a fun side-hobby than anything else, updating this was placed as a low priority.  Found a bit of time to work on a few entries now though, so I suppose it’s time to play a little catch-up!

More entries sitting in the “pending” box to be released soon!  Stay tuned!

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3 responses

  1. I didn’t see this one, and a lot of the issues you had were issues I had with the first movie. I didn’t read any of the books, but I could tell a lot of the first movie’s violence was toned down in order to keep the movie at a PG-13 rating. That said, you may have convinced me to maybe rent this movie and check it out. In general, people did say the later books in The Hunger Games series weren’t as strong as the books, so that’s why I didn’t feel like I had high enough expectations to bother with the second movie.

    February 7, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    • Yeah, I did like this one a lot better, so I am looking forward to how the last part(s) turn out.

      February 15, 2014 at 10:13 am

  2. Good review Rae. I liked the first a bit more, but this one was definitely a fine sequel in its own right and got me a bit more amped-up for what’s next to come. Hopefully something good and as promising as this movie’s made it out to be.

    February 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

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