Why Catching Fire is still the best Hunger Games movie ever

The Hunger Games franchise is back in theaters with the release The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Set 60 years before Katniss Everdeen set foot on the field, the prequel follows a young Coriolanus Snow as he becomes the character fans loved to hate in the original saga. Although solid, if overfilled and flawed, songbirds and snakes song Starring Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence as the rebel archer, it’s nowhere near the level of the original tetralogy. Because, while it is based in the same world and has most of the same themes, ballad Misses all the nuances and impressive storytelling that made The Hunger Games such a phenomenon.

As catch fire turned 10 years old, and with songbirds and snakes song In theatres, it’s the perfect time to look back at the legacy of the 2013 film. time has been nothing but kind catch fireEstablishing it not only as the undisputed winner of the YA wars, but also as an almost perfect film for its time and place.

YA craze

Kristen Stewart as Bella Son arm wrestling in Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2.
Image via Summit Entertainment

To understand catch fireTo understand the tremendous success and legacy of , one must first understand the context in which it premiered. The YA style was strong but not charioteer; Harry Potter was more fantasy than YA, like Percy Jackson, Narnia and all the other imitators chasing the crown of The Boy Who Lived. The main representative of the YA genre, and the franchise that really took it into the mainstream, was evening,

Enough time has passed for us to admit that the Twilight movies aren’t just bad; They are terrible. They’re ineptly constructed, extremely fast-paced, and downright stupid. Robert Pattinson and Academy Award nominee Kristen Stewart are good at playing their roles, but everything else about the movie, including their co-stars, is terrible. The Twilight movies are brutal, and even nostalgia can’t make you believe otherwise; If anything, watching them again now makes you realize just how ridiculous and embarrassing they are. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still a fun time, but rarely does anyone look at them and feel anything other than disappointment.

enter hunger gamesA film that reflected its political and social shades and showcased a once-in-a-generation talent as the hero. hunger games came out after months The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, possibly the worst entry in the vampire saga. Because it was pure and unadulterated, hunger games was seen as the logical successor to the soon-to-be-defunct eveningAnd calling it an upgrade would be generous. hunger games A good movie in itself, but beyond that eveningIt’s borderline masterful.

A man holds a woman's hand in The Hunger Games Catching Fire.

The audience responded enthusiastically. Critics and audiences were eager to accept it hunger games, the first truly great YA film. Katniss Everdeen on her own Legitimated the genre, proving that teen-centric stories could provide the same “advanced” entertainment that had become so popular in the 2010s, and things were just getting started. After one year, catch fire Capitalized on the goodwill of its predecessor and instantly became the pinnacle of the YA genre. If hunger games higher than his peers, catch fire Made them completely dwarf.

The YA genre is not difficult to analyze. From its love of dystopian settings to its tendency to cast really impressive young talent, YA movies are all cut from the same cloth – the Hunger Games cloth, and in particular, catch fire, The second entry in the Katniss saga defies all expectations and limitations, creating a thought-provoking, exhilarating, wildly compelling narrative that is capable of being one of the best films of 2014, and I mean that ironically. Check out the 2014 Best Picture nominees and let me know catch fire At least half of them are no better. The fact that a teen-centric, dystopian action film can generate such a reaction from critics and audiences is nothing short of impressive, especially today, when blockbuster films struggle to even be taken seriously as cinematic endeavors. Forget about actual works of art. ,

set fire to the branch

People stand on the battlefield in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

much has been said about catch fireStrengths: Its tight, fast-paced story, high stakes, and great inclusion of some of the best characters in The Hunger Games. However, I think catch fireIts greatest strength lies in its actors. The saga has already proven its ability to pull off some of the most inspired casting choices in modern blockbusters, from Elizabeth Banks to scene-stealer Stanley Tucci to, of course, Jennifer Lawrence herself.

However, catch fire Took things to a whole new level with its new cast. You have the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright, as well as the perfectly cast Sam Claflin as the evil Finnick. But then you get to the always underrated Jena Malone; Then you turn and see Lynn Cohen. And who is playing that virus? Emmy-winner Amanda Plummer?! While other franchises were casting big names left and right, catch fire was giving familiar but underappreciated actors a chance to shine, and we were better off for it.

more importantly, catch fireThe biggest triumph is establishing Katniss as a real, three-dimensional, and inspiring character rather than just a youthful personality. hunger games Might have introduced the girl, but catch fire Literally burned him. To do this, the film does two important things. First, it expands on two of the saga’s most complex and fascinating relationships; Contrary to what you might think, I’m not talking about Katniss and Peeta, much less Katniss and Gale. Rather, I mean Katniss and Haymitch and, of course, Katniss and Snow.

Katniss Everdeen is the star of the Hunger Games franchise, and Lawrence bravely commands the ship. However, both Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch and Donald Sutherland’s President Snow are important parts of the saga. catch fire Explores both relationships, resulting in a refreshing and thoughtful take on the traditional guru-teacher and hero-villain dynamics. The first film introduces Haymitch as a mentor, but catch fire Expands his role to that of Katniss’s friend and colleague; He may be more experienced, but he is not more mature. There is a unique rhythm to his conversation; Maybe they don’t exactly like each other, but they feel comfortable with each other, which gives them what they both needed for years: peace. It’s a hugely impactful and surprisingly tender relationship that will become the heart of the series.

Katniss and Snow, on the other hand, are engaged in a strange dance. Despite being so focused on each other that they are too exhausted to continue, both characters treat each other with respect, if not necessarily admiration. Because Katniss – and Lawrence himself – are older than their years and Snow/Sutherland never treats her as less than a worthy opponent, their rivalry doesn’t feel like a teenager fighting against a remarkably stupid adult.

A man and a woman hunt in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

The second thing the film does to cement Katniss’s legacy is acknowledge that Jennifer Lawrence is its greatest asset. Her performance is the key to the success of the franchise, and she does her best work catch fire, Wisely, she never tries to make Katniss the “chosen one”, much less a leader or a rebel; She only tries to bring him back to life. There’s reluctance in his performance, indifference mixed with barely-there snobbery and heavy doses of anger. And yet Lawrence is so convincing, so forceful, so impressive that we believe a teen could become the face of a revolution. However, the magic was too strong as it was not just Katniss who became the Mockingjay; It was Jennifer Lawrence herself.

Like songbirds and snakes song is going to learn, catch fire It was made in such a way that this saga would only work if it rested on the capable shoulders of Lawrence. The story and world building are compelling, but will we care about Panem if Lawrence isn’t in it? The answer is probably a resounding “no.”

life of a winner

Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, and Jennifer Lawrence as Peeta, Effie, and Katniss on stage in The Hunger Games' Catching Fire.
Image via Lionsgate

catch fire Avoids the difficulties faced by many YA projects by giving its characters dignity and gravitas. Furthering Lawrence’s reputation as a strong actress with maturity beyond her years, catch fire Challenges and redefines the conventions of YA. In other similar films the question often asked is how can these barely prepared teenagers deal with supposedly powerful enemies with a few makeshift weapons and barely concealed weapons?

The answer is that they don’t. Katniss did not incite rebellion by being exemplary; She did this by embracing her humanity and proving that there is power in being normal. catch fire This proves that The Hunger Games is not a story against the world, but rather a story of how one person can influence entire establishments.

what if we look back catch fire The achievement was so groundbreaking that it convinced Hollywood that the YA genre was a goldmine waiting to be tapped. Except it wasn’t – even its sequels couldn’t match its success, let alone any other imitators. catch fire It came out at the right time, with the right cast and the right narrative. He was a pioneer who set impossibly high standards that no one else could match. In many ways, catch fire It was a failure that peaked too early and pretty much buried the YA genre before it even existed.

But so what? catch fire I was never indebted to the YA genre or even its franchise, only to myself, and thank God for that. It did what it needed to do with its head held high, something not many blockbuster movies can say. And now, 10 years later, he’s finally enjoying it: the life of a winner.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Streaming on Peacock.

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