I am not a fan of super-trendy books. I am vehemently opposed to Twilight (a mortal girl in love with a vampire, how original) and I have no desire to read or see 50 Shades of Grey, but I have a bit of a soft spot for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. The movies have really captured my attention, so much that from time to time I actually consider reading the books. (Maybe.) Catching Fire was not as good as the first Hunger Games movie, in my humble opinion, but it did succeed in one area: I’m dying to know what happens next.
So Katniss and Peeta are fresh off their rousing victory, the first time in history two people have won the same Games, and their love story is literally the talk of the town. (Speaking of which, I feel like the love triangle between Katniss, Gale [yum] and Peeta must be much better explained in the book — she and Gale barely acknowledge their romantic feelings in the first movie, yet in the second they are fully star-crossed lovers desperate to be together but know they cannot. When did that happen? And I think she cares for Peeta much more than she lets on, but I suppose that is probably better explained in the books as well.) The creepy capital president guy is mad at them for a) being the first two people to ever win the same Games, b) having a “fake romance” and c) giving the people in the districts a false (or so he thinks) sense of hope that they can change things, so he decides to have another Games that pits all past victors against one another. Cue Katniss’ extreme anger and disappointment.
The first movie took me by surprise in terms of the gore and violence, so I was more prepared for that this time, but somehow these Games upset me more. I felt actual pain watching them all get enveloped by the poisonous fog, and I jumped out of my seat when the weird monkeys attacked. I was not at all surprised by the ending — I just knew Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s character was a good guy pretending to be bad! — but now I’ll have to wait so long to know what happened to District 12 and Katniss’ mom and sister. And I hear they’re taking the Twilight approach and splitting the last book into two movies. Sigh.
Some highlights: Better character development of Effie (Elizabeth Banks), upon whom entire makeup lines have recently been based, and the many hairstyles of Katniss Everdeen, whose gorgeous locks are almost on the level of the Queen of Hair herself, Connie Britton.