3 and 1/2 stars
Hunt Me A Revolution Fantasy
The Jennifer Lawrence juggernaut grows with this second of the Hunger Games trilogy. Watch it because you need a bit of awesomeness in your life.
I read the Hunger Games trilogy because I was hoping for something, anything to keep my inner teenager alive (Harry Potter was grown up and Twilight’s blood lust was never really my thing). The first movie introduced us to Katniss Everdeen and she instantly became hero for a generation of young girls who needed a role model.
We needed someone who did not wear pink. Someone who did not mind her dress burning up. Someone who could kill.
Catching Fire starts building up ever so slowly. Reintroducing us to the evil of grown ups, President Snow (could anyone else play evil as well as Donald Sutherland? He is brilliant) and the cruel Commander Thread, the helpless grownups like Effie (What awesome costumes Elizabeth Banks gets to wear. Look out for the sigh-inducing butterfly costume!), and each of the characters who will be a part of Hunger Games Two. The ever so affable Woody Harrelson plays the drunk mentor just as well as he did in the earlier movie. Lenny Kravitz of the golden eyeshadow creates awesome costumes for Katniss this time around as well.
But when the games start, you realise, that the teenage you were (I grew up watching Back To the Future) is a wet Diwali firecracker compared to what teenagers today are watching. More than once I was jolted out of my seat with the challenges the kids in the arena faced.
This is not for the faint-hearted grownups and certainly not for little kids. I don’t care if these are special effects. The ferocity of the creatures had me cringing for the rest of the movie.
No. Let me correct that. The movie truly pushes you down a gigantic mountain and you gather sticks and stones of your assumptions about movies for teens, you collect your fears in barf bags because this movie is about literally killing competition, you grasp all the cliches you can and then ignore them because it is okay that you can predict who dies and who lives, because it is a visual spectacle and not just another teen movie.
Some crotchety folk will complain about how it gives you a taste of the fire and then it sort of keeps you guessing. But my only complaint so far about this movie has been the boys who Katniss likes. Peeta Mellark looks tame next to Katniss, and the lesser of the Hemsworth lads, who plays Katniss’s love interest Gale is relegated mostly to the mines and is shown getting beaten up all the time. Are we saying strong women end up with less than equal, lame lads?
Watch this movie, and the third, and then buy the DVD so you can watch them all together. And play a drinking game (Tang please. Or anything age appropriate) each time Jennifer Lawrence is seen without her bow...