Zach Friesen, Staff Writer
“May the odds be ever in your favor.”
This is the phrase that fans of The Hunger Games novels know by heart. This phrase is repeated throughout the novels of Suzanne Collins, which take place in the futuristic world of Panem, and have become blockbusters on the big screen as well as on book store shelves. The most recent novel from the series to hit the movie theaters is the second book in the series, entitled Catching Fire.
In this part of the saga, the viewer follows Katniss Everdeen, who along with Peeta Mellark, has just returned home after winning the 74th Hunger Games. In the Games, Katniss and Peeta were both able to escape the arena by convincing viewers that they were madly in love with one another and threatening to commit suicide if they were not able to escape alive. President Snow, the ruler of Panem, sees this as an act of rebellion, instead of love, and threatens Katniss to convince him otherwise, or her family’s safety will be at risk. This causes deep conflict with Katniss who is torn between her feelings toward both Peeta and her childhood friend, Gale Hawthorne.
After unsuccessful attempts to persuade Snow, Katniss and Peeta are forced back into the arena for the Quarter Quell, which calls for 24 previous victors to fight to the death in a new arena. While in the arena, Katniss and Peeta are forced into reluctant alliances with tributes such as Finnick Odair and Johanna Mason, as well as the friendly scientist Beetee, in order to survive.
The movie as a whole was very well done. The acting was superb, led by stellar performances from Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Sam Claflin as Finnick and Jena Malone as Johanna. The action scenes from within the arena are unbelievably done, most notably the final scene and the fight between tributes and mutation baboons.
The one complaint about the movie from many viewers was the differences from the book. Many subjects are changed from the novel to the movie, most notably never seeing footage of Haymitch in his Games and no foreshadowing of a connection between Heavensbee and the rebellion. Though these may seem like minor exclusions, these exclusions leave loose ends that will be hard to tie up in the final chapters of the saga.
All in all, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a great movie that is definitely worth going to see. Even if you have not read the novels, they are very easy to get into and are also easy to catch up on. All things considered, Catching Fire is definitely a must see.