The Hunger Games sequel is now in UK and US cinemas, bringing Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, and about a million Lady Gaga clones back to the big screen for the second in the sci-fi fantasy trilogy based on Suzanne Collins’ YA fiction series with a distinct Battle Royale flavour. And it’s great: it might be a little slow to get going, but the more tentative approach of the first half establishes more of a portrait of the Capitol, even if there’s very little artful concealment of the politicised subtexts (the Capitol residents might as well have been actual cat fats in top hats and monocles,) and it all gives way to a tense and hugely entertaining second portion.
With audiences now being wowed by the film, we’re looking in depth at the biggest revelations and the key moments of the film to offer a comprehensive review of both the content of the film and the execution of new director Francis Lawrence.
All-in-all, the film is far from flawless, but there are some seriously good moments of spectacle and the acting performances – particularly of the new cast additions (apart from the cruelly screwed Toby Jones, who gets about two minutes of screen time, to nod at Caesar’s jokes and observations like a lapdog) propel the film even beyond those moments to something both entertaining and interesting.
So onwards to the key points of the film. Naturally, there’s a giant Spoiler Warning in effect…
13. Katniss Is Suffering From Tony Stark-Itis
As the film opens, we are reintroduced to the heroine (the pre-sheered Jennifer Lawrence) in almost the same way as in the first film – clad in Marks and Spencers heavy-knitwear in the forest beyond the reaches of District 12, but this time something is markedly different. Rather than simply being stoic and a little bit grumpy, Katniss is now suffering from a special kind of PTSD, which turns turkeys into vanquished Hunger Games tributes.
Clearly suffering from the emotional scars of having to kill for the enjoyment of the Capitol, she attempts to unleash her bow-skills on a delicious festive bird, which turns into a murdered teenager and brings back all the horrors of the 74th Games. This is again revisited when the Victory Tour reopens the wounds of Rue’s death, and Katniss laments the futility of the tributes’ deaths and causes a revolutionary reaction that sees an old man shot in Rue’s home district of 11.
Oddly, Katniss seems almost entirely unaffected by her PTSD when she actually has to go back into the Games.
This article was first posted on November 22, 2013