A year after winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and her partner, Peeta Mellark must go on what is known as the Victor's Tour wherein they visit all the districts. But before leaving, Katniss is visited by President Snow who fears that Katniss defied him a year ago during the games when she chose to die with Peeta. With both Katniss and Peeta declared the winners, it is fueling a possible uprising. He tells Katniss that while on tour she better try to make sure that she puts out the flames or else everyone she cares about will be in danger. But unfortunately she fails to do that. So Snow decides to enact what is known as the Quarter Quell, the right to make a change to the Hunger Games, which he is allowed to do every 25 years. He decides to hold an edition of the Hunger Games wherein previous winners will compete again. Their mentor Haymitch thinks their best chance to survive is form an alliance with some of the others. They decide to align themselves with Finnick and ... Written by
It's like the Dark Knight of the Battle Royale ripoffs.
Simply put, some movies should never be remade. "The Hunger Games II: Catching Fire" serves as a stark reminder with only a few exceptions: Americanized remakes of beloved and admired foreign films inevitably result in disappointment. For viewers unfamiliar with the history behind "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the 2013 film is a remake of the cult-classic 2003 Japanese film, "Battle Royale II" directed by Fukusaki's son sfter his untimely death. The Japanese masterpiece possess a highly stylized, gritty sensibility while providing an emotional depth to its characters. Iconic director Francis Lawrence's "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is as a handsomely shot piece of genre entertainment, but it fails in its attempt to define itself, resulting into a completely pointless, watered-down underwhelming tweenie fare.
Director Francis Lawrence, working from a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy "Blow Dry" (2007), chooses to simply rehash the plot for his American remake, and quickly rushes through the unusual and unique storyline unable to establish an emotional connection with the audience which the original film develops so well. Lawrence's picture clocks in at a lean 104 minutes, 16 minutes shorter than "Battle Royale II." As a result, the storytelling is rather straightforward, and it forces Lawrence to rush through crucial sequences which are not given the adequate time to develop. Subtly goes by the waste side, and almost abandoned completely early into the third act in favor of setting up the next ripoff in the trilogy.
The remake remains largely faithful to the story of the 2003 effort, but seriously lacks in intensity and a sense of meaning. The original film achieves a sublime blending of ultra-violence with extreme art, while the remake feels bogged down in its copycat status, and its overall lighter tone hampers its enigmatic, disconcerting story of revenge. My advice is to avoid this altogether, pull up the original on Netflix, and deal with the subtitles America.
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