The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Preceded by: The Hunger Games (2012)
This film spends one hour dwelling over content which must belong to another movie, because it surely makes no sense within the realm of this one during its flimsy and largely plotless preface. I'm playing stupid here; I know well that the filmmakers expect us to have the story from The Hunger Games, the first installment in this now four-legged trilogy (!), fresh in mind, but I'm not buying into that premise. If a film isn't able to work on its own, in addition to within the trilogy as a whole, then I consider it a failure. And Catching Fire is one half complete failure, filled with vapid scenes of contrived drama that haven't been accounted for or anchored in any way. The hammy musical score is probably supposed to create some sort of backdrop for us, but it only serves to accentuate the emptiness of these segments. Then, after the script has effectively stripped our Katniss of every privilege she had gained after her win in the first film (very much like they did to Paul Kersey in Death Wish II or Rocky Balboa in Rocky II) the film gets into its own as another season of The Hunger Games begin and the action gets going. This, of course, is the premise were Suzanne Collins' originality comes into work, and even if we've seen it before, there are enough new ideas and even a fair deal of tension to elevate the film from its initial dullness. Needless to say, everything then suddenly stops in mid-action, in preparation for the next installment. It's almost like having sex, only without the nice foreplay and the sweet climax. Enjoy!