The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) - The second installment in the Hunger Games film quadrilogy

Jennifer Lawrence packs a punch in this star-studded extravaganza

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Directed by Francis Lawrence, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, movie poster
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire By Francis Lawrence
Our Rating: 8.0
IMDb Ratings: 8.2
GenreAction | Adventure | Sci-Fi
CastJennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Country: USA
Language: English
Runtime: 146 min

Summary: Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a 2013 sci-fi cum adventure film directed by American filmmaker Francis Lawrence. Based on a 2009 novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire is the much-awaited sequel to the 2012 blockbuster, The Hunger Games, which was based on the second novel in Collins’ acclaimed The Hunger Games trilogy—a young adult science fiction series set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic districts of Panem under the ruthless control of a totalitarian state called the Capitol. The final book of the trilogy, Mockingjay, is set to be made into two parts, thus completing a quadrilogy of films. With several actors reprising their roles from the previous film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has an ensemble star cast that includes the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Woody Harrelson, and Elizabeth Banks. 

Jennifer Lawrence (left) as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Directed by Francis Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence (left) as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is set on a much grander scale in comparison to its prequel. The plot picks up from where it was left in the first movie with Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the tributes chosen from District 12, being declared as the joint winners of the 74th Hunger Games under dramatic circumstances. The shocking turn of events, thanks to the masterstroke played by Katniss, which saw the emergence of not one but two winners for the first time in the games’ history seems to have infuriated President Coriolanus Snow who is adamant on teaching Katniss and her kin a painful lesson that would undermine any possibility of a future rebellion against the Capitol in any of Panem's districts. What ensues is a whirlwind adventure of epic proportions that will shake the very foundations of the residents of Panem and the dictatorial regime that governs it.

Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Directed by Francis Lawrence
Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, like most contemporary films of its genre, gives great attention to the technical detail. The use of CGI and VFX is nothing short of being exemplary. But, what makes it stand out is the meticulous manner in which it seems to tackle the emotional aspects which often seems to be lacking in such films. The credit for this must go to the director for eliciting worthy performances from almost all his actors and the screenwriters for adding a great level of maturity to the plot by the virtue of a multi-layered narrative while keeping intact the thriller and mystery elements of the novel. 

Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), Directed by Francis Lawrence
Stanley Tucci (left) as Caesar Flickerman
Speaking of movie’s technical elements, it’s imperative to talk about Alan Edward Bell’s taut editing and Jo Willems’ breathtaking cinematography. While Sutherland, Tucci, Hoffman, Harrelson and Wright are brilliant in their respective roles, it is Jennifer Lawrence who is absolutely mesmerizing to watch. It’s an absolute delight to see her go from strength to strength, completely unfazed by her recently acquired super-stardom, continuing to deliver one strong performance after another with such aplomb that one usually associates with great thespians. Lawrence, as the perfect embodiment of beauty and brains, reminds this critic of the ravishing Julie Christie. It’s no surprise that Donald Sutherland, in a recent interview, compared Lawrence to the great Laurence Olivier. 

Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Directed by Francis Lawrence
Woody Harrelson (centre) as Haymitch Abernathy in Catching fire
Overall, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire offers entertainment galore. It may not be great cinema but it’s definitely much superior to the run-of-the-mill Hollywood productions that are all style and no substance. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a high octane extravaganza that also offers some food for thought for those who are willing to look beyond the obvious. Catching Fire serves as a powerful social commentary in that it highlights how the strong tend to oppress the weak when in absolute control of things. The plot is not as hypothetical as it may seem, for the motifs that the trilogy explores are most relevant to the tumultuous age we live in. We will find ample examples of such exploitation of the weak by the strong, if only we are keen enough to look around with our eyes wide open. Catching Fire has set the ball rolling for the final two installments of the franchise. The franchise enthusiasts obviously wouldn’t settle for anything less than a perfect closure. But, for now, we have a real entertainment feast at our disposal… and it’s only prudent to savor it to the fullest.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Trailer

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  1. Thanks for the review Sir.Surely going to watch. How can I miss the gorgeous Ms. Lawrence?

  2. I was thinking of watching it. This just made my thought stronger :)


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