‘Catching Fire’ at the box office

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

The odds were definitely in favor of “Catching Fire” this weekend. The second film in the “The Hunger Games” trilogy was released Thursday, Nov. 21. Hundreds flocked to the Grand Theatre in Hattiesburg to see the film.

As I walked out of the theatre opening night, all I heard was “Wow that was amazing!” or “I can’t wait to see that again!” The film pleased not only fans of the first movie, but also fans of the original book series.

The film picks up with Katniss and Peeta about to embark on their victory tour. President Snow blames Katniss for the recent uprisings in several of the districts. For the 75th annual Hunger Games, he has a trick up his sleeve to stamp out the rebellion.

The two and a half hour movie is sure to leave audience members on the edge of their seats. It’s an emotional ride. The audience enters the fictional country of Panem and leaves wanting more.

There is action, romance, a little comedy and great performances by the cast. The screenplay does justice to the books and leaves moviegoers with the same feeling they have when reading the books.

The only thing I wish they didn’t leave out from the books is Haymitch’s backstory. How he came to be an alcoholic and how he won the Hunger Games adds more to the story and should have been included.

Jennifer Lawrence who plays Katniss Everdeen does an exceptional job. The new Hollywood “it girl” is very convincing as a young girl who does not want to be the leader of the new rebellion but who is a victim of circumstance.

She makes the audience sympathize with her plight throughout the movie. Jennifer Lawrence is very convincing as Katniss, a young girl who doesn’t ask to be the leader of the new rebellion but is a victim of circumstance.

New cast additions include Philip Seymour Hoffman who plays the new Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, Jena Malone who plays Johanna Mason and Sam Claflin who plays Finnick Odair were perfectly cast. They raise the bar and help make this a film that parents and teenagers will enjoy.
This is no “Twilight.” There are very serious discussions that can’t be made from watching the films or reading the books. War, the fear of a controlling government, sacrifice for family and bravery in the face of danger are all universal concepts.

The movies have only gotten better and the third movie will much anticipated by fans. If the pattern continues, “The Hunger Games” franchise will be the one to beat.