"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, and Donald Sutherland. Released on November 22, 2013, the film has Katniss and Peeta competing in the 75th annual Hunger Games, aka The Quarter Quell.
The film is directed by Francis Lawrence, who also directed Constantine, I Am Legend, and Water for Elephants. It is based on the novel, "Catching Fire", by Suzanne Collins and serves as a second installment of the Hunger Games series. The first film is an engaging and well-acted adaptation that portrays strong political themes, so it's no excuse for Hollywood to continue the franchise. This time, they got Francis Lawrence as the director instead of Gary Ross. I was quite curious to see how they're going to make the second installment as good as the first. Turns out it hit its mark just fine.
Strong performances from the cast. Jennifer Lawrence was once again amazing as Katniss Everdeen. Woody Harrelson was also great as Haymitch.
Great costume design.
Strong character development, especially Katniss.
Strong use of political themes.
The cinematography is a step up from the first film.
Some emotional depth.
Some slow pacing during certain points.
It has the same arc as the first film; First half revolves around the preparation of the Hunger Games, while the second half involves the games.
A bit overlong.
Final thoughts: "Catching Fire" took advantage of what made the first Hunger Games film work and the result is an intense and well-directed continuation of the franchise. The film does have some pacing issues and it could've been 6 minutes shorter, but it manages to be as good as the first thanks to some strong performances and its political themes. Fans of the Hunger Games series and/or dystopian films should definitely check this film out.