Jennifer Lawrence is great. Lenny Kravitz is great. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Donald Sutherland are great. Woody Harrelson brings back his role as Mickey Knox. The guys who play the two love interests are sufficiently bland to get their roles right. About ninety-five percent of the movie is almost as enjoyable as The Hunger Games, if not as tightly plotted. If you liked the first one and you plan on seeing the next one, go see this. Now, on to the other five percent of the movie.
Here there be spoilers!
The last few minutes of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire brought out the Neoclassicist in me. I know that the unities of time and space are unnecessarily restrictive, but a successful movie still has to observe unity of action. In other words, the protagonist has to be the one that brings about the ultimate resolution to the main plot. A plot twist of the kind that the filmmakers pulled off in this movie only works, as in The Sixth Sense, when the hoodwink has been right in front of the audience the whole time. You can’t give us one plot for nearly two and a half hours and then blow a big ol’ deus out of your machina. It’s frustrating, and this audience member felt cheated.
Woody Harrelson and Philip Seymour Hoffman have been part of the resistance the whole time and half of the tributes in the Quarter Quell were in on a massive trick to get Katniss to District 13? Suddenly The Hunger Games just don’t seem quite as dangerous. Katniss is some sort of revolutionary Jesus figure? Okay, that kind of makes sense.
I recommend The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. That ending just pissed me off.