Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.
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. Written by
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer Lawrence said that she, Josh Hutcherson, and Sam Claflin were very clumsy, saying Claflin fell at least once in every scene they filmed. Claflin agreed and said they could fill an entire gag reel with just him falling over. See more »
There is an appropriate mention of the island of Oahu in the credits, but there is also thank you to "The County of Oahu". However, as stated, Oahu is the island - the county is Honolulu. See more »
Hollywood remakes of Asian films are always an iffy proposition. How will the nuances and culturally-specific references translate across oceans and continents? Generally, however good the remakes, they rarely if ever eclipse the original films. In recent memory, perhaps only Nolan's INCEPTION, unofficial based on PAPRIKA, has managed to find a life of its own. Other remakes, like Luc Besson's LUCY and Aronofsky's BLACK SWAN?, have sunk into ignominy. Spike Lee's Oldboy is completely terrible, and it does lose quite a bit of the dark, bruising, ambivalent flavour of Park Chan-Wook's 2003 Korean classic.
Jennifer Lawrence takes centre stage in Suzanne Collin's ripoff. She sinks credibly into the wooden, dazed-like demeanor of Katniss Everdeen, a pretty white female version of Shuya Nanahara.
On its own merits, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is passably stuffed with filler in order to pad out the story into multiple movies, thus tripling profits. It entertains and put to sleep in equal measure, packing in a great deal of PG-13 violence and torture that runs the gamut from offscreeen to offscreen and everything in between. The relationship that develops between Katniss and backery worker Peeta is pure Twilight fan-service, if a little forced. no questions asked.
What works rather less well is the deliberate dilution of the twist in Battle Royale's tale, presumably because American audiences can only handle so much moral and emotional ambiguity. Where Kenji Fukusaka's version sees the revenge mission warped with a horrifyingly emotional dilemma, Lawrence's film shies away from such s conundrum. As a result, the film becomes far less subtle and considerably more dunbed down. There's a flashback sequence towards the end of the film that's ridiculous enough to make audiences laugh rather than gasp, even as CGI baboons are added to the story (!).
The cast assembled is impressive, even though they're not really given a lot to work with in the frequently stilted, over-blown script. JLaw anchors the film with admirably stony listlessness, but her Katniss never seems to really feel the weight of her plight. Hutcherson, too, stumbles around a bit, as if never quite sure how to play his part, and Stanley Tucci comes close to overplaying his hand when he emerges from the shadows to drop a few hints about the reasons behind Katniss's ordeal.
There's enough on display in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for the film to jog by at a fairly quick clip. Collins pays tribute along the way to a few iconic elements of the Japanese film a clock shaped playing field, a prolonged execution in an elevator and the cast tries its hardest to make it all work. But it's hard to shake the feeling that something a little deeper, richer, sadder and weirder was lost in translating the film into a vernacular more pleasing to American audiences.
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