This weekend marks the release of the much anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games and already the film is garner critical acclaim that some maybe didn’t to expect. In the world we live in where every young adult book is being developed into a movie, along comes The Hunger Games which sets aside the expectations of the novels and manages to produce an excellent film. The sequel seems to be right in line with the original, if not a few steps ahead.
Rotten Tomatoes has tallied the reviews for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the consensus is that the film is certified fresh. The current rating of 89 percent among top critics (88 percent among total reviews) shows that the work was properly done on the sequel and the critics can’t get enough.
In this second installment of the trilogy, Ms. Lawrence stands, runs, shoots and suffers at the center of a production that’s worthy of her formidable gifts, and of the Suzanne Collins novel on which the film is based.
Forgive the rough patches and an ending as frustratingly abrupt as the book’s. Pop-culture escapism can be thrilling when dished out by experts. Katniss is a character worth a handful of sequels. And Lawrence lights up the screen. You’ll follow her anywhere.
With The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (**1/2 out of four; rated PG-13, opening Thursday in select theaters and Friday nationwide), Lawrence has evolved believably in the role of the increasingly rebellious Katniss. The Oscar-winning actress can nimbly pull off the dazzling fashion-show moments in this futuristic drama, as well as the considerable action exploits and emotional shadings required of her tortured character.
Catching Fire is a better movie than its predecessor and elevates the series into that rarefied atmosphere where it must be considered as something more substantive than just another fanboy/girl-friendly means by which a studio can fatten its coffers. Catching Fire brings the heat and doesn’t flame out.
We sort of expected that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire would live up to the hype but we didn’t know it would go above and beyond which seems to be the case wight he second of the proposed four film franchise. The expectations are now high, and that has everything to do with the excellent sequel.