Welcome to the Jungle | Film | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

Welcome to the Jungle 

Katniss has got fun 'n' games!

Disappointingly competent, 2012's The Hunger Games...well, at least it got the basics right. It was a fine adaptation—totally, forgettably, blandly fine. So it's a pretty excellent surprise that its sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is an order of magnitude better: Catching Fire will please whatever it is that Hunger Games fans call themselves (Hangries? Katnips? Peetaphiles?), but it also stands on its merits as something fun and intense and thrilling. What makes all this even more surprising is that the book it's based on is the weakest of Suzanne Collins' young adult trilogy; if Hunger Games was a so-so movie based on a great book, Catching Fire is a great movie based on a so-so book.

Like the latter Harry Potters, Catching Fire is proudly inscrutable to anyone who hasn't read the books: Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) find themselves touring Panem after winning their first Hunger Games. But Katniss barely has time to have PTSD before—surprise!—she gets yanked back into another deadly tournament, this time fighting other past winners. This time it's in a jungle!

Collins' Catching Fire reads like a retread—but as a film, director Francis Lawrence and writers Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt make Katniss' return to the battlefield a deeper, darker, smarter journey. The characters are stronger, the action's more exciting, and the mounting sense of doom is...doomier. While Lawrence and her supporting cast—including Hunger Games veterans Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, and Stanley Tucci—are predictably good, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jena Malone add a welcome dose of unpredictability. With all these characters and all that plot, Catching Fire takes a while to get going—but once it does, it barrels along with speed and purpose. By the end, it sets up the two-film adaptation of Collins' third and best book, Mockingjay, more or less perfectly. If things keep heading in this direction, the Mockingjay movies are going to be flipping great.

dir. Francis Lawrence

Opens Friday Nov. 22

Every Theater Ever

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • California Dreamin'

    California Dreamin'

    Tarantino weaves a wondrous fairy tale
    • Aug 1, 2019
  • Boarding in Jordan

    Boarding in Jordan

    Locally produced documentary, "7 Hills," shows peace at the skatepark
    • Feb 12, 2020
Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Ski Films in the Garden

Ski Films in the Garden - Bunk+Brew Historic Lucas House

Wed., Oct. 28, 6-10 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Now Playing

By Film...

By Theater...

Get Social


Latest in Film

Give Guide


View Online

More by Erik Henriksen

  • Crime Story

    What if The French Connection were...French?
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • Too Old For This

    The Gunman: Where BAM! and KA-POW! Meet the AARP
    • Mar 18, 2015
  • Drum and Drummer

    Whiplash: When drumming is LIFE AND DEATH
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation