Sunday, 24 November 2013

Catching Fire At Cineworld


After the sad and gentle Saving Mr Banks at the intimate Aldeburgh cinema on Tuesday we headed to Ipswich yesterday for something a bit more explosive and watched Catching Fire, the latest in The Hunger Games Trilogy on the enormous IMAX screen. 

The cinema foyer was packed - Hunger Games is a hugely popular franchise and Cineworld were screening the film in several screens. We stuck out like proverbial sore thumbs being at least twenty years older than everyone else there but hey, you're as old as you feel and anything with Jennifer Lawrence in has to be worth watching - we've been big fans since her breakthrough in Cold Mountain. 

The dystopian story continues and, in order to try and quash undercurrents of rebellion amongst the plebeian population of the districts, President Snow (wonderfully portrayed by Donald Sutherland) has decided to use Katniss (Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and their hugely popular love story by pitching them into another Hunger Games. This special event which is held every twenty five years pitches past survivors (winners) against each other and the aim is for the dissident lovers to come to a horrible end and subdue the populous. 

But are they lovers or is Katniss still in love with boy next door Gale? It's a question that leaves us guessing. Perhaps she loves them both. The film is visually stunning although I was a little disappointed that some scenes (the competitors' entrance chariot parade) were almost identical to those in the first movie. Josh Hutcherson is perfect as all round nice guy Peeta and Lawrence's Katniss is steely and tough but with a hint of vulnerability. 

I felt that Saving Mr Banks would have benefited from a 15 certificate rather than being PG and I feel that Catching Fire has possibly been over sanitised to reach a wider young audience. When you think about the subject matters - fighting to the death for mass entertainment and beating down a rebellious population  - it's fairly tough stuff but the director has definitely pulled his punches for the sake of gaining a 12. 

it's entertaining stuff; very colourful, plenty of excitement and with far more characterisation than your average blockbuster. Try and see it in IMAX if you can.