This is the sequel to last years blockbuster The Hunger Games, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, about a dystopian future where kids are selected (by a lottery) to compete to the death in a bloody arena, as part of a reality TV show aired for the public to see. The story picks up right after the first movie ends. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are living in Victor’s Village with Haymitch (Woody Harrelson). A year later, Katniss is visited by President Snow (Donald Sutherland), he warns her that sparking a rebellion will not only be bad for her but her family and friends. In an attempt to quell any rebellion, President Snow and his new head gamemaker, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) decide that since the 75th hunger games is the 3rd quarter quell, that the new stipulation will be that the previous victors much re-enter the reaping (the drawing for the participants of the hunger games).
I have head the books and I will keep them separate because as someone who has been reviewing for years, I’ve learned that when you review something with the expectation that the adaptation should be the same as it’s source material, you are just perpetuating a very negative stereotype. That being said, I will be talking about differences between the two.
The acting is very well done by a good majority of the cast, thankfully by the ones who are in the lead roles. There are a few stiff actors, and some who are simply reading lines but they are so far and few between, that it’s hardly noticeable. That’s about all I can say to that because it really is great acting. Every character is portrayed with a level of understanding of the intricacies of the role. They understand the weight each character is forced to carry.
The visuals are wonderful, the scale of Panem is shown in more of a wider scale than the first. There is a shot where Katniss and Peeta must do a thing called The Victor’s Tour and visit each of the other districts. On this trip, you get to see other parts of Panem and with it all being CGI, it’s massively impressive and gorgeous.
The story is great in this movie but with having read the story before, I can confirm that this movie is incredibly close to the book. It’s not identical and it shouldn’t be. The story has a very nice flow to it and never lets up. There are moments of general worry for certain people (except i knew the outcome due to having read the books). It has a brief moment of confusion due to dialog not being exactly said, or at least is a deleted scene. It’s towards the end and moves so quickly that by the time you can breathe, you need to stop and think. Earlier in the film, you get these great scenes that don’t exist in the novels due to them being written from the first person perspective of Katniss. The scenes I’m referring to are scenes with Donald Sutherland and Philip Seymour Hoffman talking about what plans they have in line.
Overall I loved this movie, it furthers the story in a lovely dramatic way that will keep people guessing till the end. With beautiful visuals and great acting on top of that, this movie is a must see, as long as you’ve seen the first one. I give this 9/10.
-Gregg Dietz (@ChubRockGeek)
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