Continuing with the HUNGER GAMES recapping we have the film adaptation of CATCHING FIRE. Like HUNGER GAMES, I never reviewed this when it came out. In fact I didn’t even see it in theaters. I was too worried about upcoming college exams. And so I didn’t see this movie until it came out on DVD. But since I reviewed one of the MOCKINGJAYs and now HUNGER GAMES, it’s time to put my thoughts on this one to paper (or internet) as well.
While HUNGER GAMES seemed like a nearly perfect film for me, CATCHING FIRE is less so. Perhaps this is just due to the source material though. While on paper some of the plot of CATCHING FIRE is slow but important, when moved to film it actually drags the action down significantly.
The first part of this movie is just pain BORING. Peeta is back to being barely tolerable, Katniss is being reckless and selfish, and both characters are really unlikable until they hit the second games. Haymitch becomes the character I love to see most, as Woody Harrelson’s portrayal is not only perfect but actually steals the show in all 4 films.
Then comes the Quarter Quell. While Peeta and Katniss improve, it’s the other characters I enjoy seeing more in this film. Joanna, Finnick, Beatee, they’re all spot on. I particularly adore Joanna and Finnick. Finnick has the perfect amount of charm and emotion in absolute balance while Joaana’s blunt rage is so insanely watchable. In comparison I feel like Katniss and especially Peeta suffer as characters, since their fellow victors steal the show.
Still, the film is by no means bad and as adaptations go it is pretty damn faithful. It does what it can to set up the next set of movies but my husband described it like this:
It’s kind of like that second Pirates of the Caribbean film, Dead Man’s Chest. Like this movie only exists to set up that next movie and the cliffhanger is unnecessary.
I can see where he’s coming from. As someone who hasn’t read the books and doesn’t know what’s coming I can see how this film seems like a bit of a let down from the first and going into the conclusion (or in this case set of conclusions). It does seem like it is designed more for fans than for newcomers.
A good movie but it needed some editing and a few more changes to speed up the pacing. Sometimes translating too close from book to film can actually harm it.
Which is your favorite Hunger Games movie? I think mine is the first one. Share yours in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,