**WARNING: This post will contain a fair number of spoilers. If you’ve read the books, come on in, but if you’re new to the Hunger Games story, I recommend you skip to the end for the final rating.**
Anyway, hey all, and welcome to Teen Fiction Girl! I’m fairly certain that I reviewed Catching Fire when it came out a couple of years ago (although I could very well be wrong) and this movie was as worth a review as any of its predecessors.
I’ll start with talking about the plot of the movie. There were very few slip-ups where book/movie continuity is concerned. The main thing that the movie producers changed was Katniss’s method of getting into the Capitol – in the book, she was authorized to go, whilst in the movie, she snuck in. I don’t know which I prefer: the book is the book, after all, but the movie’s method allowed for a little further development of Katniss, President Coin, and Plutarch Heavensbee as they plotted to make Katniss’s deviance appear to be their idea. (Speaking of him, I remembered about halfway through the movie that the actor playing him was dead. Luckily, there were no awkward mid-movie actor switches or anything; I think they covered it up rather well.)
I thought the two-part conclusion was going to end up like The Hobbit movies were – so stretched out in an effort to make more money that they were tedious and not even kind of like the books – but I think, all in all, I liked the two-part movie better than its single-sectioned predecessors. The scenes in the Capitol were quite true to the book, right down to the type of pod they encountered and the members of Squad 451, which I’d have thought the producers would have considered too minor to include. The death of the Leeg sisters was a little different in the movie than in the book, but the end effect was the same, so I hardly consider this a point of conflict. They even included the girl in the lemon-yellow coat.
Katniss and Peeta’s relationship seemed perfectly natural to me; she seemed to push him away at first but finally realized what she was doing wrong. Although I rather dislike Peeta as a character (I’m on Team Gale for sure), Josh Hutcheson’s acting was superb. Especially in the conclusion, he played his part well, although I think that Katniss looked a little funny as a mom, to tell the truth.
The last and most obvious of the movie’s shortcomings was the conclusion of the war. In the book, Katniss witnesses the death of her sister, nearly burns to death, murders the president, gets locked up at the top of the tribute tower for months on end, starts singing to herself like a madwoman, and eventually becomes suicidal before returning to District 12. In the movies, only a few of these things happened: Prim did indeed die and President Coin was indeed assassinated, but they made Katniss’s… ah… decline much milder. Her burns were nowhere near fatal and there was no oncoming insanity.
I’m usually a lover of accuracy, but I’ll admit I enjoyed seeing the producers’ version of things more than I enjoyed reading Suzanne Collins’s. If you were looking for a carbon copy of the book, you won’t find exactly what you’re looking for, but I think, on the whole, the story itself was great.
As for the production of the movie itself, I wasn’t disappointed in any way. The characters all looked exactly as they should. I was especially impressed by the camera team and President Coin – they looked identical to their book versions. The camerawork was flawless, the soundtrack was great, and the effects were simply amazing. The atmosphere looked so perfect for the story – District 13, the Capitol, everywhere – and the special effects, as I just mentioned, were beautiful. I almost regret not seeing it in 3D, but if I had, I doubt I would have been able to enjoy it as much due to the awkwardness of wearing 3D glasses over my normal glasses.
And now, for the final rating. For an almost spot-on story and the greatest effects I’ve seen in a movie all year, I give this movie four and a half stars out of five. I took a half star away for the slight changes to the story, but other than those tiny discontinuities, there was nothing wrong with this movie. I recommend it to anyone who even partially liked the books and/or other movies.
I hope this was helpful to you. Please, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a rating at the top of the page or, if you have a WordPress account, a like if you really loved it. Comments are always appreciated – give feedback and criticism, and, if you like, suggest a post you’d like to see from TFG in the future.
Thanks for reading!