The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Judging by the response of audience members during the screening of Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire that I attended today, the film will be enthusiastically embraced by the fan girls who, based on their gasps and giggles, think Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is ever so brave and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), ever so adorable, Gale (Liam Hemsworth) dreamier than dreamy and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) hilarious. I, on the other hand, found the second entry in this trilogy-plus-one based on the novels by Suzanne Collins an irritating diversion that features a slew of highly respected and respectable performers (Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright) out of their water (a deliberate pun for those who venture out). In this installment, Katniss and Peeta and 10 other hapless pawns are again tossed into gladiatorial games staged to give the huddled 90 percent in this dystopian world something to hope for while the privileged 10 percent dress up like peacocks on meth and cheer on the doomed competitors. All of this is probably quite profound in the books but as a movie it strikes me as just silly.


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