Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Toby Jones
What started as Brave New World novels for teenagers has morphed into action-packed filmmaking worthy of attention and intellectual comment. This second film is simply a better offering than the first one. Catching Fire takes a good franchise and clears the way for the possibility of a great one.
There are a lot of reasons this works. Everyone now knows what a good actor Jennifer Lawrence is (after her Oscar win for Silver Linings Playbook), so she’s given the chance to shine. The budget is noticeably bigger, so it doesn’t feel like studio Lionsgate attempted to make an opulent blockbuster with green screens, like the last time. The action and pace are tighter. Finally, more time is spent living within the world instead of trying to explain the backstory. More time is also given to the theme of how fascist leaders might attempt to entertain us to death.