Katniss' Crusade

Movie Review: Hunger Games Catching Fire

SPOILERS. As usual.

Team Pee-Niss!!!! (Peeta + Katniss)


(Ahihihii, kilig!)

I chuckled at Katniss’ snide remark, "Must be a fragile system if it can be brought down by a few berries.” Indeed.

More than the actual Hunger Games (as in the killing each other in the wilderness) itself, I enjoyed this movie so much because of its political nature. Just as dragons and magic are only garnishes for the politics of Game of Thrones, the actual Hunger Games event is just a tool to exemplify the real underlying narrative of societal oppression. “The real enemy” as Finnick so aptly put it. The movie’s fictional future where the nation is divided by social class reflects our own economic reality. Albeit, not as flagrant. What made it such a great movie experience is that after watching it, I had all these philosophical opinions I couldn’t wait to talk to my siblings about. I would’ve talked about them here but I’ll digress.:)

But on a side note, it was amazing to see a government’s perspective on a rising oppression and how a single, unknowing person can cause so much fear and damage to a political system. And how they can manipulate their media to, in turn, manipulate public perception and behavior. Such great power left in the hands of the devious. Sound like a country you know?

Stick it to the Man.

As cheesy as it sounds, the romantic elements of Hunger Games gave me butterflies too. Team Peeta all the way!! I was glad they didn’t go for a cliché storyline of a having Peeta angry at Katniss for deceiving him, or one with Katniss trying to hide from Peeta that the relationship was fake. I’m glad Peeta was depicted as a mature individual and immediately accepting that the publicized relationship was just a front for their survival. That’s what made me like him more. So valiant even if he was just friendzoned. I guess I have a soft spot for decent guys who get turned down. But fortunately, their relationship grew more organically in this movie more than the first.

Peeta-zoned. It's when a girl is only your girlfriend when in front of a camera or the President.

Peeta was not the only character to enjoy. In fact, most of the characters were exceptional in their own right. Jennifer Lawrence is a remarkable actress in all of her work I’ve seen and this one is no exception. Katniss is stubborn, and yet at the blink of an eye her brave face can turn into disgruntling fear. She was the one with the most emotional work, and she pulls it off powerfully. Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch was such a cool older brother figure. He pretends not to care so much, but emits a protective vibe in his scenes with Peeta and Katniss. And he hasn’t shown it yet, but you know he’s got kick ass moves if he needed to kill. He was a champion before. (Hell, he’s Tallahassee!!) Even Effie, who I found absolutely annoying in the first movie, grew on me. Her moral indifference to the games in the first movie was slowly shattered as she began to show emotion towards Peeta and Katniss. A new “frenemy” joins the team – Finnick Odair, played by Sam Claflin. I’m not familiar with this guy, but he did a pretty well job portraying Don McDouchebag. You could never really tell if he was on Katniss’ side or not until the very end. All these characters pulled off all the necessary emotional beats. I felt their fear, their love, their anger. It’s amazing to watch their work.

Don McDouchebag. Did you really have to be naked there?

And the villains. Man, the villains. The villains are sinister and heartless! And I was genuinely worried about what they could do to our heroes! When Katniss would do something offensive to the government in public, I’d be “Ohhh, no she didn’t!” Philip Seymour Hoffman as the new game master, Plutarch Heavensbee, is a calculating political advisor who treats man slaughter as if it were a chess piece he can use whenever necessary. I don’t know what it is with that guy, he never really did anything onscreen that was overtly villainous, and yet you could always feel his overwhelming presence. And Donald Sutherland’s President Snow was confident and smug; he’s calm and collected in the face of the enemy. But behind the composed façade, you could sense something sinister and disturbing in his core.

Philip Seymour Hoffman. The new warden.

Special mention to Stanley Tucci, who played Caesar Flickerman, the Boy Abunda of the Hunger Games universe. My brothers and I were copying and poking fun at the way he laughs.:) But that creepy, robotic laugh only illustrated just how desensitized their society was to their killing game. 

The support group and their superb costume design. (Clothes by Cinna)

The movie was in no way perfect. But most of my criticisms were trivial to what the movie was really about. Like the Lighting tree. What was the purpose of that lightning tree except to conveniently provide the protagonist with a means to escape? And the last scene where Katniss is carried off by a ship’s crane hook thing was weird. Was it supposed to be messiah-nic? It put me off somewhat.

But all of that aside, the movie was still very enjoyable! It was appropriate amounts of politics, thrilling action, romance and mystery. The world was wonderfully imagined beautifully visualized. (That fire dress is still pretty awesome!) And I was expecting it but I still hate that they did an Empire Strikes Back kind of ending. Cliffhanger of all cliffhangers! And I seriously already want to watch the next installments! Time to rescue Peeta, ala-Han Solo!

PS. SPOILER: Cool twist in the end! When the doors opened and we got to see those three characters, I semi-shouted to my sister “Order of the Pheonix!”



  1. i didn't know you did blogs now. i liked how they finally turned peeta into someone that is useful in the arena and not just excess baggage like in the first film. look at me, im injured and disguised as a rock. at least in this film, he was able to kill someone. favorite scene: haymitch getting bitch-slapped by katniss at the end. :)

    1. I just started.:P lets see how long it lasts.:)) and I KNOW! He actually scored a kill! Peeta is so much more likeable in this film than the first!