Having read the Hunger Games book trilogy and easily becoming a fan, I came expecting something about the sequel that would let my mind linger a bit longer about it. The film brings us back to the world of Panem and its 12 Districts. The 74th Hunger Games winners Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are now comfortably residing at the Victors Village joining their mentor Haymitch. This victory is not without a price as we all know after what have happened during the stars-crossed “lovers” time at the arena from the last Hunger Games. Apparently, their final act of killing themselves both (by eating poisonous berries) instead of killing each other became a catalyst for every district to revolt yet again against the oppressive Capitol.
To combat this, the ever-so creepy President Snow ordered Katniss to play the crowd and convinced him that she indeed did not intend to create rebellion as she has become the “beacon” of hope for the people from the word of Snow himself. Being Katniss and all, she obviously did not succeed thus resulting to a twist of reaping the players of the 75th Hunger Games a.k.a the Quarter Quell from the pool of winning male and female tributes from each district. This would make Katniss go back to the arena but not ofcourse without Peeta volunteering. This leads to an agreement between Katniss and their mentor Haymitch to just try to save Peeta at whatever cost. This was the plan until a secret unravel in the very eyes of Katniss leaving her helpless and with just a little hope.
I’m actually satisfied with the outcome of the film. It was just okay. I thought this time unlike its predecessor; the film lacks agility, the fierceness of its characters and the emotional sub-plot of the book. It felt a bit too rush. Director Francis Lawrence was probably trying to make it as concise as possible making me wonder how Gary Ross would have handled it. I am not saying it’s not good, though, there were some great moments in the film but I was left with an uncertain thought about it. Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence was amazing as usual taking your to an emotional wrecking ball and so as the outrageous Effie Trinket played by the gorgeous Elizabeth Banks. I also love the support of Josh Hutcherson making my first judgment that he’s indeed the perfect actor for the role! Donald Sutherland makes President Snow all the more creepy while Woody Harrelson as Haymitch delivered yet again. My favorite in this film though was Jenna Malone who played Johanna Mason. She’s very refreshing. I’m still disappointed with Sam Claflin as Finnick but he’s fine. There was great acting in this film as a whole.
But the best thing, in my humble opinion about this film is that it didn’t lose its steam – there is still the charm from the first film. You would still care about Peeta, Katniss, Prim, Gale, the tributes and the rest of the oppressed people from the Districts. If the first Hunger Games feels like a dissection of a lot of things political, this was a film that continue its promise to bring about a good story telling this time, a bit cliché but nevertheless entertaining.
Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Jeffery Wright, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Lynn Cohen, Amada Plummer, Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Alan Ritchson, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, E. Roger Mitchell, Maria Howell, Elena Sanchez, Bobby Jordan, John Casino, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Patrick St. Spirit, Stef Dawson