Friday, November 22, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review - 3½ Stars

Jennifer Lawrence adds another great performance to her career in this second installment of the story of Katniss Everdeen, the young woman who takes her younger sister’s place in the annual Hunger Games — a fight to the death television spectacle designed to keep the population under control in the totalitarian world of the future.  If you saw chapter one you know that Katniss pulled a fast one and made it possible for her and fellow competitor Peeta to survive as a twosome.  Now they travel the country in a victory lap.  But Katniss seems somehow to spark thoughts of revolution in the population.  The powers that be don’t like this and declare a new series of games pitting former winners against each other — the better to get rid of Katniss.  Once the games begin, the movie catches fire, and delivers a thrilling twist at the end–so good you leave wanting more.  Most of the great cast return including Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, and Donald Sutherland, with additions to this story of Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the new game designer and Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone as fellow competitors.  I think this sequel does what a good sequel must:  It restores your interest and sets you up for the next chapter.  Personally I can’t wait.  Does it deliver what it promises?  And then some.  Is it entertaining?  Thrilling with a great ending.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Fans will love.