The Horror Honeys: 'Catching Fire' is the Movie Katniss Deserves

'Catching Fire' is the Movie Katniss Deserves

A Revenge Honey Premiere Review

I've always been fairly vocal about the fact that I was deeply disappointed with the first Hunger Games film. While I wasn't the rabid fan of Suzanne Collins' trilogy that some were, I did think they were excellent (and genuinely terrifying) dystopian young adult fiction. Katniss Everdeen was also the anti-Bella Swan: a powerful, brave, and believably flawed young woman that provided a much better role model for girls than the simpering waste from Twilight. So yes, maybe my expectations for the initial Hunger Games movie were a little inflated. But really, I think everyone's were.

The Hunger Games film wasn't awful, but it just wasn't... enough. With the exception of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss (who is luminescent in everything) and Amandla Stenberg as Rue, the rest of the cast was pretty meh. And trust me, it pains me to admit that because, as you know, Josh Hutcherson is my (former) jailbait crush. Additionally, the makeup in The Hunger Games was distractingly atrocious, which given that Ve Neil was the head makeup designer, was fairly upsetting. There were things that were right with the first film, but it wasn't what I was expecting. I think most people would agree.

So when I was given the opportunity to see the second film in The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire, early, I wasn't too excited. I just didn't believe that there was any chance that the spirit of Collins' books could be captured at this point, given that the stakes are even higher as the series progresses and requires more from the supporting cast. And kids, I am thrilled to report, I could NOT have been MORE wrong. Catching Fire succeeds in every way that The Hunger Games failed and brilliantly surpasses it. This was one of the most exceptional films I have seen all year.

I'm not going to go into plot because I think it is really unnecessary. I'm simply going to explain to you why Catching Fire completely revives the Hunger Games series. First, every actor in this film has risen to the challenge this time around. Jennifer Lawrence completely melts into the role of Katniss, embodying every moment with the panic and desperation and desire for vengeance that you feel for her throughout the story. Hutcherson finally seems to understand Peeta, portraying him as the sweet and selfless boy that he Collins wrote him to be. Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks: they are all wonderful. There is a passion in Catching Fire that wasn't there in the first film.

The added characters and their corresponding actors are fantastic as well. Jena Malone IS Joanna Mason, a badass fighter who takes no prisoners and will fight to the death for what she believes. I have always maintained that Malone should be a bigger star than she is and Catching Fire proves it. Despite my initial misgivings about his casting, Sam Claflin is superb as Finnick Odair, a tribute whose cockiness hides his true nature. Amanda Plummer, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Jeffrey Wright were equally clever additions to the cast. They elevate their scenes magnificently.

The makeup and costuming is equally improved in Catching Fire. The makeup department found a happy medium between pancake awfulness and the garish styles that are required of people in the Capital of Panem, especially Banks as Effie Trinket. Banks and Lawrence's dresses are absolutely exquisite and totally representative of the novels. There are moments in the film where the makeup and costumes are actually stunning, which is such a wonderful treat after The Hunger Games.

The fact is, I enjoyed every single minute of Catching Fire. It is beautifully filmed, perfectly acted, has moments of humor and almost unbearable sadness, and is as faithful to the novel as a film could possible be. Combine that with a closing shot of Jennifer Lawrence that made my Revenge Honey heart skip a beat, and I have no problems admitting that Catching Fire is easily one of the top ten movies that I've seen in 2013.

Revenge Honey Stabby Points: 4 3/4 out of 5
(Minus 1/4 point for that terrible Coldplay song, which isn't the movie's fault,
but someone needs to pay.)