New from the desk of The Movie Snob.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (B-). I still haven’t read the books, so I went to this sequel simply as a moviegoer who likes sci-fi and who enjoyed the first installment. (See my review here. And other reviews of the first one here and here.) On the plus side, the movie moves along nicely and held my attention throughout its almost 2 1/2 hour running time. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) is good like she always is, and I thought a couple of the new arena fighters, Finnick (Sam Claflin, Snow White and the Huntsman) and Johanna (Jena Malone, Pride & Prejudice), were pretty cool. But I just didn’t enjoy this film as much as the last one. The idea that an oppressive regime would use these complicated and drawn-out gladiator contests to keep the restive provinces subdued just seems too far-fetched for me. The bland guy who’s in love with Katniss (Josh Hutcherson, The Kids Are All Right) is just as much a helpless Harry in this one as he was in the first one. And the arena part of the movie ultimately felt more dutiful than exciting this time around. Oh well, two down, two to go….