The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is, in every way, a better, bolder and more rewarding film that its predecessor. While the first film relied almost solely on the performance of Jennifer Lawrence (who is once again excellent here), the supporting cast, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci have more asked of them and deliver well. Plus, the new cast members, especially Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright and Jena Malone give this film a much richer ensemble feeling, helped enormously by Simon Beaufoy’s screenplay.
That said, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire really doesn’t stand alone as a film. You have to be familiar with the previous film’s storyline in order to make sense of and enjoy this film, which really serves as a connection between the original tale and war promises to be the rousing finale to the series.
This film was discussed on our podcast here.