**SPOILERS (for those who have yet to read the book. I want to be able to talk freely without ruining the story for someone)**
Hunger Games: Catching Fire. For those of you who don’t know what this is, I’m sorry but have you been living under a rock for the past year? In case that is in fact the case, I’ll explain it to you briefly. In short, it’s the sequel to the popular book adaptation The Hunger Games, the story of Katniss Everdeen (played by the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence), and her struggles in a dystopian future. Catching Fire picks up a few months after The Hunger Games left off (I think).
Before I say individual details (good and bad) about this movie, I just want to say what my overall opinion of it was. I did enjoy the movie, for the most part. It had its flaws (which I will get into later), but I think that the people behind this movie did a good job. They improved on almost everything that was wrong with the preious movie. That being said, this movie did really have a lot of flaws. Not so much as a movie, but as a story.
I got onto the Hunger Games bandwagon early last year, about the time the first movie was announced. My time on said bandwagon lasted about a week, during which time I read the three books, and spent a couple days thinking about what it would be like to be in the dystopian world of the books. But it seemed that the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t much care for the 2nd and 3rd books, or even the 1st for the matter. What interested me was the setting of the story, not the story itself. I mean, sure, Katniss is a cool gal, but I could not care less about her love triangle (which became way too big of a theme in the books). I enjoyed the first book the most because the novelty of the setting was new enough to distract me from the weaknesses in the story. As I kept reading the trilogy, this novelty started to wear out very fast.
I’d like to call this “The Mad Men Effect” (I’ll get that phrase copyrighted ASAP). What the Mad Men Effect is is as follows: when I started watching Mad Men, I was simply entranced by the incredible setting of the show. The novelty of the 60s theme had me watching episode after episode, until the novelty started to wear off. The Mad Men Effect has one of two outcomes: either the TV show or movie has enough interesting things to keep my attention after the novelty of the setting wears off, or my interest wears off along with the novelty. Luckily with Mad Men, it was the former of the two. However, I realized as I was watching Catching Fire that, when faced with the Mad Men Effect, the outcome is the latter.
I was just not a fan of the sequels. I know many people are, but that’s just my opinion. That being said, I think Catching Fire did a good job bringing the book to life on the big screen. The acting in the movie has its ups and downs (Ups being mainly JLaw and Woody Harrelson, Downs being mainly Josh Hutcherson), but was sufficient for what the movie called for. A lot of the characters in the story are very one-dimensional (ie. the bitchy girl, the tough gu, the nerd, etc), so there is not much acting required of most actors.
The special effects were very good in the movie, as was the music. The plot, however, left much to be desired. The thing that bugged me the most in the plot of the movie was, funnily enough, not what bugged me about the book. That thing is that 80% of the story leads up to the climax of the hunger games, which end up not even finishing. In the book, this did not bug me as much, because I was reading at my own pace and the buildup did not feel as long. But when I was sitting in this 2.5 hour movie where 1 hour and 45 minutes of it is almost all introductory, it really got to me. The movie did not leave me hanging, it left me disappointed.
All in all though, the movie wasn’t bad. In fact, I’d say it was pretty good. Although the ending was not really to my liking, the rest of the movie was done well enough for me to enjoy it as a whole. I will for sure be seeing the next movie, which will be the first of two parts of the Mockingjay story (my least favorite of the three). I think for these movies to improve, the writers are going to have to start taking some liberties with the story (which I doubt they will do, because doing so will make many a fan girl mad).