I’m glad THE HUNGER GAMES is so popular. I’m glad for two reasons. The first is that Katniss is a well realized, strong, female protagonist, and we can’t really get enough of those right now. Hollywood needs to get over its chauvinist assumption that woman aren’t bankable heroes. The second reason, is that at its core, the series seems to be a sobering allegory for the extent of debauchery and entitlement that modern America seems headed towards. We can’t get enough of these right now either, as the First World seems intent on slowly and methodically running the entire planet into the ground and could use a wake up call.
Socio-political issues aside, CATCHING FIRE was quite good. It loses none of the bite of the first film in the series and has the same stellar cast. This chapter handily trumps its predecessor however with a clearly more adequate budget and a far more intentional directorial style from Francis Lawrence. He puts you in Katniss’ shoes in a way that drives home the depth of how hopeless her situation is.
It’s a little hard to pin down the overall effect of this middle chapter of the story, as this film has no true beginning or end (and I’m not familiar with the novels), but even though I’d only peg the first chapter as “okay”, this one has convinced me that the series is worth following, and has earned my solid recommendation!