The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a 2013 action-thriller and the sequel to the blockbuster young-adult film The Hunger Games. Directed by Francis Lawrence, this suspenseful flick is another adaptation of the successful book series by Suzanne Collins, which tells the story of a dystopian country named Panem where citizens must fight in an annually televised battle to the death.
Catching Fire once again follows Katniss Everdeen, (Jennifer Lawrence) a rebellious teen from one of the twelve dystopian districts, who won the previous year’s “Hunger Games” with help from fellow contestant Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). As is tradition, Katniss and Peeta must go on a Victory Tour around the dozen districts of Panem, celebrating their survival while spreading the propaganda of the country’s elite class.
However, as the yearly Hunger Games roll around, the rules have been changed.
How to Stream or Download The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
To stream or to download the movie from a digital store of your choice, click on the Download button at the end of the review. If you’re into games check out also our review of The Hunger Games Simulator.
The Movie Review
In lots of ways, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is similar to the first film, offering an exhilarating and surprisingly brutal action story with significant suspense and peril. The film picks up with Katniss and her hometown sweetheart Gale (Liam Hemsworth), hunting in the backwoods of District 12.
Although she has survived the life-or-death Hunger Games from the year prior, she is haunted by violent memories, nightmares, and panic attacks.
Katniss’s predictably sour mood is made even worse when she and co-victor Peeta Mellark must put on a romantic facade to appease the aristocratic class during their countrywide Victory Tour. This causes a rift between her and Gale, which creates an underwhelming and slightly cliché love-triangle that’s all too common in young-adult films like these.
To make matters worse yet, Katniss is visited by Panem’s leader, President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who threatens her and her family as a result of her rebellious actions that defy the governing leadership.
As civilian disobedience begins to rise around the twelve districts of Panem, Katniss continues to grow as a symbol of hope, forcing President Snow to act. After enlisting the help of a new “Gamemaker” named Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), President Snow reveals the most horrid Hunger Games yet. As a celebration of the 75th anniversary of this last-man-standing contest, Snow announces that the contestants will be drawn from existing winners from each district.
Yet again, Katniss and Peeta will have to enter the arena and compete in the winner-take-all Hunger Games. However, instead of facing off against other inexperienced civilians, they’ll have to survive against the fiercest and most talented competition the Hunger Games have ever seen.
Just like with the original Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire is an exciting and intriguing thriller with a handful of glaring flaws. Overall, the movie presents a serious and foreboding atmosphere that’s thick with tension. Although the dialogue leaves a bit to be desired, the movie is acted well, thanks to a talented cast of both seasoned and upcoming actors.
Where Catching Fire really excels though, is in the mysterious elements and design of the new focal battle. As before, 24 contestants enter a rural arena and must utilize their survival and combat skills to out-live their opposition. However, Catching Fire presents a much more fantastical arena than the first film, with a dense rain-forest, hidden environmental dangers, and more.
The violence feels even more intense than the first film, with some surprisingly brutal deaths. These more serious elements combine to create an exceptionally cool and entertaining movie, even if it can feel a bit cheesy at times. Occasionally, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire can have some bloated storytelling, specifically with its love-triangle subplot, but it still manages to be a fun popcorn flick. If you enjoyed the first movie, you’ll love The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
- Great cast
- Exciting and violent action
- Inventive concepts that keep you guessing
- Silly love-triangle subplot
- Takes a while to get to the action