I will admit that I have not read much of the “Hunger Games” series. I will even admit that the first movie did not impress me in any way, shape or form. In fact, the only reason why I had even gone to see “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was because I was dragged to the 8 p.m. showing against my will. I had no intention of giving this series a second chance with the first “Hunger Games” film’s headache inducing shaky camera and disturbing imagery of children killing children haunting my memory.
But I’m glad that I did.
“Catching Fire” is a visually compelling and thought provoking film with action and even a little bit of comedy mixed in. It takes its raw material from “Hunger Games” and uses it as a learning tool to refine itself and mature.
Though both movies are approximately the same length, “Catching Fire” does not feel like it is two and a half hours long. The more fleshed out story along with the dramatically more interesting characters make such a great difference.
What surprised me greatly was how much more emotionally involved I felt with this film. I was engulfed by what was happening. I cared about the characters. I was angry when they were angry and sad when they were sad. I felt the frustration, the relief and the pain so much more than with the first “Hunger Games” film.