Welcome to another edition of Movie Review Monday!
In honor of the upcoming release of Mockingjay, Part I next month, this week's movie is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
I enjoyed the first film in this saga, but I was left wanting more at the end. This movie definitely delivers. With a wider cast of engaging characters, heighten stakes, and a broader scope to the story, Catching Fire is a more exciting movie that gets me stoked for the next one.
The film's large ensemble cast has all the notable folks from the first film returning including, Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, and Donald Sutherland all return with solid newcomers Jena Malone and Sam Claflin (among many others).
The stellar story helps support the amazing ensemble of characters. As rebellion stirs in the thirteen districts following Katniss and Peeta's unprecedented victory, all the most recent former winners from all of the districts are forced into a new game for the 75th anniversary of the event. They all battle a more complex, brutal arena and they have to band together if they want to survive and fight back.
I don't want to spoil anything for this movie but just trust me when I say, as someone who didn't read the books, I found the plot to be exciting and engaging. No one is safe from the slaughter of The Hunger Games, and the action keeps you really connected since you don't know what will happen next. The light sci-fi, dystopic vibe to the universe also gets expanded here as Katniss and Peeta tour all of the districts following their victory in the previous film. We get to see firsthand how this world works, and really connect with the rebellion as a result.
I highly recommend Catching Fire (and the original to get caught up if you haven't seen it), especially since you have plenty of time to watch before the next film comes out Nov. 21.
Check it out right now streaming on Netflix!