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Hunger Games: Catching Fire

It’s a fine review, pointing out some of the flaws in the first film that we didn’t get because we haven’t read the books.  But then, I had to be talked into seeing the first movie, and perhaps rated it more highly because 1) the political analogy to today is unmistakable, and 2) I have relatively low expectations for movies made from teen novels.

Lawrence didn’t write this film. The sharp, navigable, frequently funny script is credited to Simon Beaufoy (assorted Danny Boyle movies, including Slumdog Millionaire) and Michael Arndt (Little Miss SunshineToy Story 3Brave). Neither of them was crazy enough to overthink this. Collins has done the strategizing and has espoused a worldview. They just have to realize it. The new filmmakers have a great advantage over Ross, who struggled to set things up and make the killing spree something you’d dread watching as opposed to merely a chore to sit through. To be fair, no one short of the Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku would leap at the chance to make a movie in which 24 kids knock each other off. So the first film had to cheat, and the cheating made things stultifying. I always wanted to know what the ratings were for the 74th games. Who’d sit through night after night of that?

Posted in Culture, Movies.