Catching Fire Is So Much Better Than Its Predecessor
I did not expect much from Catching Fire.
After all, The Hunger Games had managed to take an interesting concept and make it utterly boring. Before the film was first released, I actively wanted to sit down and read the books. Then I saw what had made it to screen and felt the novel couldn't possibly be as good as everyone said. But Catching Fire has inverted that disposition. Now I'm back on board. I wanna read all three. I really do.
There was something about this film that was just so much more compelling. Granted, the information had to be there from the first one. But this time around it just felt as though the filmmakers managed to hit all of those little notes that the first one skipped over. Characters were more relatable, relationships seemed more consistent, the world felt clearer... pretty much anything that could have been better, was.
Well minus some of the effects, but even most of those were passable.
The thing that worked the least for me about the first one was the foreknowledge that almost everyone you met was going to die (something that's never a problem in Battle Royale by the way).
Oh, they're all gonna die.
This was made worse by the casting of a slew of no-names with little to no shot of ever being recognized for their five seconds of screen time... Once again, Catching Fire fixed that.
In adding actors like Jeffrey Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman (a huuuge upgrade over Wes Bentley), and Jena Malone in supporting roles it felt like the filmmakers were actively making decisions about how big this franchise could be.
I know there's only one left, but perhaps that one can be the biggest and best.
Catching Fire is simply a better movie than I anticipated. And I'm glad. I mean, who likes to waste their time on a bad movie?