Caught Fire-The second installment of the Hunger Games franchise has caught fire at the box office, but can it live up to the hype?

Scan 9

Cleaning up: After three weeks in theatres, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is already the fifth-highest grossing film of 2013.

2013 brings about another year of sequels dominating the box office, the top two movies of the year being Iron Man 3 and Despicable Me 2, and invading the theatres with a tired class of characters. This seemed to be a daunting task for Catching Fire, the sequel to 2012’s Hunger Games, to overcome. However, Catching Fire is a fresh continuation that sets up the final act of The Hunger Games.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are just coming off of winning the 74th Hunger Games and are about to begin their new lives as “victors.” However, actions that allowed them both to win have now got civilians up in arms against the government, while President Snow (Donald Sutherland) looks to eliminate Katniss and squash the growing uprising.

There is more emphasis on the freedom of a people instead of the freedom of the self, like in the first movie. Catching Fire outclasses its predecessor in action, thrills and even romance with the expansion of the Katniss, Peeta and Gale love triangle.

While the ‘book-to-movie’ transition has not gone so smoothly for some other series, causing hardcore fans to complain about the ‘injustice’ to the book, besides limited mentioning of District 13 until the very end of the film and a complete omission of Haymitch’s games and their consequences, the film stayed closer to the source material as a film could.

The film is also a commercial success, being the top box office earner in its first two weeks and narrowly losing in its third week to Disney’s Frozen, with having already earned back its 120 million dollar budget. Catching Fire’s total gross worldwide is almost 700 million dollars, which already matches the amount made by 2012’s Hunger Games with a total worldwide gross being $691,247,768 (according to BoxOfficeMojo.com).

All events of Catching Fire now leads into Mockingjay (the third installment in the Hunger Games trilogy) part 1 and 2 in 2014 and 2015 respectively. While not a perfect movie, Catching Fire is worth a buying the movie ticket.

Grade: B+

By Drew Lipowicz

lipowicz.james@oakwoodschools.org

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