What to watch this week – #TheHungerGames #CatchingFire #film #movie #entertainment #cinema

27 Nov

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 16.37.24If you had any worries or concerns that Director Gary Ross’s successor would be turning this sequel into a Twilight esq format, where each film has its own unique stamp per director, and the lead character looks more and more bizarre as the films progress, then fear not, as The Hunger Games – Catching Fire  continues the franchise brilliantly.

In the second installment of the hugely popular film adaptation, Tribute victors of the 74th Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. As a result, President Snow decides to hold the 75th Hunger Games in which all previous victors will once again fight against each other.

If you have been a fan of the books and then watched the first film, you may have felt a little short changed in terms of the detail throughout the Games section itself. Catering to a 12a audience, the first installment of this franchise lacked some of the more graphic scenes of violence throughout, and replaced this with clever jump cuts and edits to keep the action flowing. I for one, was one of those people, and felt slightly underwhelmed when walking out of that original viewing.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 16.40.18

However, this second film seems to have found its feet much more – realizing that there is a large share in terms of older audience members, it quite purposefully takes more risks. There is a whipping scene involving Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) the shooting of an old man who dares to acknowledge the revolution, and a very unceremonious punch to the face for Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). Although these are all wincing to the eye, they are a refreshing progression for the film, and as the film tackles more grown up subject matter, you very much feel like you’re watching a much more grown up film.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 16.37.46

Once again the lead characters are portrayed well. Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen is brooding and thoughtful, more of the relationship between herself and Hemsworths Gale is explored, and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark has realized that he must suppress his feelings in order to play the game and put on a great show. There is also an influx of new cast members (all the other Tributes get killed off in the previous film – in the style of a less brutal Battle Royale!) and one of the biggest surprises of this is Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair. With a flawless American accent, a smile to melt a lot of hearts in the female share of the audience, this British actor will probably use this character to cement his place in the Hollywood heart throb elite – Robert Pattinson better watch out!

Out with the old and in with the new is the way this second running of the film works, the style has been cleverly matched by Director Francis Lawrence to its predecessor and not a minute of filming is wasted. Even if you’re coming to the movie having loved the book, its truthful approach to what is written will be a welcome relief, and it may even hold some surprises for you too. Plenty of action for everyone, some eye candy for both boys and girls, and a very enjoyable film to watch. You will not be disappointed!

4 Stars

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