Editor and Writer Reviews: Catching Fire

The Charger Bulletin

AP Photo
AP Photo

 By: Scott IwaiecFilm Editor  WOW! All I’m going to say is wow. I absolutely loved this film— and this is a complete shock given my expectations weren’t even that high.Let’s flash back a few years ago to The Hunger Games; I enjoyed it, it was a good time, kept me interested and left me optimistic about a sequel. The difference is The Hunger Games was a good young adult movie, while Catching Fire is a good movie. It exceeds beyond the young female demographic, and attracts men almost as equally, including adults over 30. Their ability to expand the audience beyond the small demographic of the first is something to be admired.

To review the actual movie, I’m going to keep this extra spoiler free since plot points are so significant that I would feel terrible if I ruined it for anyone. Like the first one, it’s separated into a pre-hunger games intro, followed by the actual arena in the second half.

Like the last, I found the scenes of the pre-hunger games much more enjoyable. It’s a very political film and focuses heavily on characters and how they react to extreme situations, which they can never escape. The overall scale of this film seems global and much larger than in the first.

Jenifer Lawrence gives us probably the best performance of her career this far (even better than her Oscar performance in my opinion) and that only adds to the various tensions and drama.

But this film really brings out the glory in the secondary roles. Josh Hutcherson shows us his impressive acting chops as a more complex and tortured Peeta than the previous film. Elizabeth Banks gives the boring Effie Tranket much more of a human side. Donald Sutherland arguably steals the show by giving us a sinister and demonic President Snow that sent chills up and down my spine constantly throughout the movie.

This film is almost two and a half hours long and definitely feels like it. It’s paced quickly, but it still gives you that feeling of a very long epic journey. However, this is one of the only times I can remember saying to myself, “this feels long…but I never want it to end.” This movie kept me so invested I honestly wish it was three hours. By time this movie is over, you don’t just want to see the next movie, you are angry that you have to wait another two years for it. Catching Fire is incredible, and potentially my favorite movie of the year.


By: Sydney Simms

Film Writer

After a year and a half of anticipation for the sequel of the blockbuster hit The Hunger Games, Catching Fire falls into the rare category of beating its predecessor.

Being a huge fan and reader of the series, I went in hoping for an incredible film and was taken aback at how perfectly it parallels to the second book in this trilogy.

Following their winning of the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta learn the not-so-sweet life of being victors. Due to their defiance to the Capitol and the influence they have on the districts, they must further project their personal lives in hopes to appeal and calm the uprisings in the districts.

Occurring every 25 years, the Quarter Quell makes the yearly games more appealing, but because the continual resistance and the Capitol’s fear of a rebellion, there is an even greater twist on these games: previous victors from each district will play against each other.

With this, the candidates and the arena challenge Katniss and her hope to protect Peeta. The film is rich of emotions as you witness the pain Katniss must face as she questions and struggles with the influence she has on the entire nation, and who she should trust while being constantly influenced by her allies who echo, “remember who the real enemy is.”

An extraordinary soundtrack with phenomenal visual effects makes the games and society come to life. The cast members give excellent performances that continue to amaze the audience. This was the best sequel of any film series I have watched and was set up perfectly for the third and final movie. I was beyond impressed with Catching Fire and the incredible story it brings to life.