By Jack Rico
The “1-4-0″: The sequel to @TheHungerGames is better than the original. It boasts an engaging script, an outstanding J-Law performance and great action!
The Gist: Story is same as the first, but there is more romance, more action, more drama and instead of kids being assassinated, it is adults who suffer the perils from our protagonists.
The Highlights: There are three major singular aspects to the film that resulted in its improvement over the first part. 1.) Jennifer Lawrence’s performance which must be applauded. The Oscar winning actress brings her A-game to the sequel and raises the quality of the production altogether.
2) The script from Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt is much more engaging than it’s predecessor. My trouble with the first one was its long and drawn out first hour that lulled me to sleep. This second part, was involving, captivating and intriguing. Many plot puzzles kept you guessing for half the movie. The second hour was just entertaining with a high level of action sequences and VFX that were visually terrific to see.
3) Kids not dying. Call me righteous and morally virtuous, but I couldn’t comprehend how parents allowed their children to see kids killing kids. In “Catching Fire”, adolescents are replaced with adults and the elderly. Right move, better film experience.
The Lowlights: This franchise still suffers from a long running time. At 2hrs and 26m, it’s hard for anyone to be completely engaged, even if the script is very good as this one was.
Pay or Nay?: Pay for it. There are very few sequels that offer a better cinematic experience than the original. This is one of them. You’ll see Jennifer Lawrence give us one of the best performances in her career, full of emotion and conviction. The action is thrilling as any other film this year and the supporting characters are so over the top that some laughs are inevitable. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good this sequel is.
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language
Release Date: November 21, 2013
Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt
Director(s): Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Toby Jones, Donald Sutherland, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Lenny Kravitz, Jena Malone, Jack Quaid, Taylor St. Clair, Sam Claflin, Alan Ritchson, Paula Malcomson, Sandra Lafferty, Willow Shields, Bruce Bundy, Nelson Ascencio
Film Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi