The Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire is not about languishing liaisons or cheesy adolescent bawling, but political, media and society critical themes, exciting and quite tangible for young adults packed. What began in the first part continues in the second.
Katniss (Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), the cruel hunger games have survived. The televised event, which takes place every year from the Capitol and 24 young people from Panems will pit twelve districts to fight to the death against each other - spectacular and cruel staged for a wide audience. While the residents of the Capitol superficial celebrate this event every year, the people tremble in the districts to the survival of their children. Usually, it creates only one person alive in the arena, but by a shrewd coup secured Katniss and Peeta's existence.
President Snow (Donald Sutherland), ruthless leader of the country Panem, has not forgotten this move, and thus feared a revolution in the country. Because if someone can rip off the Capitol on the nose on TV, others can too - this sparks an overturn. He threatens Katniss to the sentimental love story of the dream couple maintained in order to stifle the beginning of the insurgency - or Katniss loses everything. That would not only her mother and her sister Prim but also her best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth), for which she now feels more - and it's mutual.
But Katniss fails the riots get out of hand and the mocking jay is the symbol of a rising revolution in the country. The winner of the Hunger Games Katniss to Peeta and her mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) invulnerable for life provided with food and a stylish roof - and take the brutal peacekeepers with this self-understanding also over. A thorn in the side of President Snow, who decides ado: The 75th Hunger Games are something very special.
For as every 25 years is a jubilee anniversary instead - and that calls for an increased cruelty of hunger games: this time, the participants will be drawn from the existing, surviving victors. Katniss and Peeta have to go back into the arena. And this time they are facing strong opponents, because they've all survived the Hunger Games...
High-caliber ensemble of actors
Here of course new favorite characters are also reintroduced.The charismatic heartthrob Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), the perky Johanna Mason (Jena Malone) and the engineering genius Beetee (Jeffrey Wright). As the new game manager Plutarch Heavensbee (star studded with Philip Seymour Hoffman), the tributes over. But the old stars are back on the field again: Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, the extravagant, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, the stylist prudent and Stanley Tucci as the eccentric host Caesar Flickerman.
The ensemble cast shines, as it did last film by the great achievement of each individual. Above all, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson deliver exceptional performance down, breathe their characters in each scene its specific character and stay on the film hanging out in the minds of fans.
First and foremost, of course, Jennifer Lawrence who has drawn a female protagonist and a heavy combative lot, but, as in the first part, her Oscar-award-winning acting skills prove once again lived through Katniss' emotions to the depth of her eyes. This remains a sympathetic protagonist Katniss, the one always decreases the strength and certain self-consciousness, but at the same time also the helplessness and the pain she endured. But not only be worth the movie.
Successful implementation book
Director Francis Lawrence ("Water for Elephants", "I Am Legend" - and not related to Jennifer Lawrence) staged "Catching Fire" from the first to the last minute as an exciting fantasy drama whose political and media-critical aspects while still scratching the surface, but even more to the fore than in the first part. The revolution is coming and President Snow is aware of this. Therefore, he tried everything to prevent this.
These points are very interesting and also provide an extended look behind the scenes. As the novel by author Suzanne Collins was written from the first person view, you get in the book is little information about how the games work behind the scenes and what thoughts Snow followed closely. However, Francis Lawrence opens as another level, as he already did in the first part.
The President not only reveals the meaning of the ruthless gladiator fights in the arena, but also to mentally continue as the staging of individual aspects of this large-scale show distract the population from really important issues Panems - and how even a feeling of fear can be staged. He deliberately uses the media and the idea of acting as a consultant playmaker, which is for the hunger games director and God at the same time.
This leaves Lawrence as already Ross, incredibly close to the original, so that the book and film represent almost a 1:1 copy. Neither Harry Potter nor Twilight have done it in this form. Of course, some scenes in favor of ages 12 years have been mitigated, but the brutality and cruelty remains (especially between the lines) receive - if only when Caesar Flickerman welcomed joyfully and to thunderous applause moribund in his macabre (for us) show .
The battle for Panem goes to the next round. After Katniss Everdeen with her courageous and selfless act appearing at the end of the 74th Hunger Games won the hearts of viewers and thereby activated and isolated resistance fighter, President Snow now fears a coup, he would suffocate radically in the bud.
Also in "Catching Fire" comes utopia dystopia high modern villages, power to oppression. The exciting mix makes Panem attractive: "In District 12, the people starve in the Capitol puke, to be able to eat more" - aptly describes the difference.
To represent the world of the Capitol and the individual districts fit and as different as possible, the film crew has spared no expense or effort. Impressively here the gap between rich and poor is staged, several meters high, secure fence surrounding the poor districts, pompous and ornate contrast, has the shiny, futuristic Capitol with its brightly costumed, campy, artificial and revelers residents.
Scenes such as the import of the tribute be staged as spectacular as the entire arena that was planted as a tropical island jungle. The effects inside and outside the arena seem real and skillfully implemented. Be it poisonous fog, monstrous tidal waves and dangerous mutations or even the gigantic Capitol - the 140 million dollar production budget were clearly used. The bravura acting performance of the entire ensemble is to couple the icing on the cake.
All this can come in for the background, the love story between Katniss and Gale and Katniss and Peeta. Of course it is not entirely forgotten, but it is reduced to a realistic and manageable level. The focus of the action is clearly elsewhere.
Now, the upcoming third part is split into two parts for a little exhaust the franchise - as it did for Harry Potter and Twilight.