ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

All Fired Up – A Review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Updated on November 24, 2013
Stanley Tucci is Ceasar Flickerman, the emcee we love to hate and Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen, the lovely "girl on fire" in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in theaters now.
Stanley Tucci is Ceasar Flickerman, the emcee we love to hate and Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen, the lovely "girl on fire" in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in theaters now.

Title: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Production Company: Lionsgate

Run Time: 146 minutes

Rated: PG-13

Director: Francis Lawrence

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman

5 stars for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Summary: Arguably as good as or better than the first. Katniss and Peeta must battle other victors in a Hunger Games grudge match showdown engineered by the president of Panem.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

These are the words that the tributes in the districts live by in the annual Hunger Games, predicated in a post apocalyptic environment in the remains of North America where the country is now called Panem.

Each year, each of the twelve districts sends two tributes, one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18, to compete in a fight-to-the-death spectacle for all the world to see. It’s Survivor on steroids.

The tributes all become instant celebrities. They are fawned over and treated like royalty, especially since, once the games are over, 23 of them are destined to die.

Except in the 74th Hunger Games. There, both tributes from District 12, Katniss Everdeen (the stunningly talented Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are both crowned victors after a rule change that allows them to survive as co-victors.

On Panem, though, there is a civil uprising predicated by Katniss’ flaunting of the rules and her defiance in the face of presidential and governmental authority.

Now, in an effort to quell the uprisings and to put the common folk back in their place, the 75th Hunger Games are destined to be different. Instead of reaping new tributes to fight each other, it is decided that the surviving victors will represent the districts in a climactic battle and only one will survive.

Needless to say, this will put the a damper on the romance between Katniss and Peeta which was the main reason for their survival since it gave the people of Panem the hope they needed to believe again.

And hope is the one attribute that the government of Panem needs to crush to maintain control and order among the populace.

There is an interesting message here, buried among the ruins of the lives lost in the games and among the common folk. It is every citizen’s obligation to stand up to an oppressive government, even if they do so reluctantly.

Katniss becomes a rallying point for the people. It’s not a role she wants, but she knows it’s the right thing to do at this point in her life.

Not everything plays out as either Katniss or the government expect, however, and the stage is nicely set during the film for the third installment which is due next year. Very much like the final books in the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, the final book, Mockingjay, will be split into two parts with the final film slated for 2015.

The acting in the film is top-notch. Jennifer Lawrence will be a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. Every role she touches, she manages to make her own. The entire film balances on her performance, and she’s never been better.

As the leader of Panem, Donald Sutherland lends a quiet menace to his President Snow. He’s a man not to be trifled with and cunning and deceitful. His performance underlines the mantra of not trusting the government or its leaders. It sounds curiously poignant, given the overreach of our current governmental policies and the officials who create them.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is, himself, a marvelous addition to the ensemble as the new game master who has an agenda all his own. He’s suave, smarmy and just a touch menacing – the perfect counterbalance to the President.

And then there’s Ceasar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), the host of the entertainment programming that brings the Games to life for the world. Tucci is obviously having fun with this role, chewing up the scenery with the verve and gusto required of this over-the-top version of all too many game and reality show hosts we’ve come to know and secretly despise.

And Woody Harrelson brings just the right amount of caring and indifference to Haymitch Abernathy, a previous victor who has little or no desire to re-enter the arena. Without his help, though, Katniss’ odds of survival would dwindle dramatically.

This is the type of movie that serves not only to entertain, but manages to bring strong social commentary to the forefront as well. As entertainment, it’s superb. And if it manages to get you thinking a bit, so much the better.

I give The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a solid 5 out of 5 stars.

Assuming you've read the books, which installment is your favorite?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • BernietheMovieGuy profile imageAUTHOR

      Bernie Ment 

      5 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Thanks for the comment, Jean. Both movies are incredible and are very true to the books. Well worth the views.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      5 years ago from New Jersey

      I loved the books, but never saw the first movie yet. I have to catch up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)