Hunger Games sequel catches fire in box office

Some sequels fall short of expectations, but Hunger Games: Catching Fire is an exception. The much-anticipated film has added to the already booming Hunger Games franchise, which includes Suzanne Collins’s book trilogy and the first Hunger Games movie. This second installment, with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, is sure to leave the audience clamoring for the next movie.

Although I only read the first book, it was hard not to join in the excitement for Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s release. After its US release on November 22, it became a box office hit. I was one of the many who made a determined effort to see the film, despite the two earliest showtimes being sold out when I got there.

It was hard not to admire Katniss Everdeen, the film’s bold protagonist played by the sensational Jennifer Lawrence. She is unlike most leading female roles in current movies. She’s a hunter who provides for her family, and when home, is the leader of the house. When the capital of Panem, ruled by the malicious President Snow, decides to host a special 75th anniversary of the first Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson, are up again. The Hunger Games, the center of the books and the most captivating aspect, is a fight to the death between “tributes” from each of the 12 districts. At the Hunger Games, she’s smart and quick, using her impressive archery skills to move forward in the games. And of course the film has an exciting love triangle between Peeta, Katniss, and her closest friend back home, Gale Hawthorne, played by the very attractive Liam Hemsworth. The film has originality, action, and love, which for me made it all worth the two-hour wait at the theater.

Catching Fire poster

As a teenage girl myself, it was refreshing to see a character like Katniss on the screen. Very few movies have women protagonists who aren’t hypersexualized or obsessive over their love lives. And even fewer have female leads that are independent and self-sufficient. In a previous popular book and movie series, Twilight, the main character Bella Swan is a passive and submissive lead who is tied to her vampire boyfriend. In Hunger Games: Catching Fire, we get a break. While there may be a love triangle, Katniss manages to maintain her individuality. Katniss is not only independent of the men in her life, but also seeks to defy social standards and spur on a revolution in her country.

It’s the perfect movie to see with family or friends if you’re seeking action. The film is rated PG-13, and it contains some adult and violent themes. It’s no wonder the film has already been so successful, and I recommend it to ages 13 and up.

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