In the words of Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), “This trip doesn’t end when you get back home.” Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) may have won the 74th Hunger Games, but her life will never go back to normal. First she must go on the obligatory Victory Tour, and then she must face the Quarter Quell and watch more children die at the Capitol’s hands.
Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), based on the second book in Suzanne Collins’s best-selling trilogy, proves to the film industry that a movie starring a strong female character can be an enormous success. Francis Lawrence replaces The Hunger Games (2012) director Gary Ross as director for Catching Fire, and moviegoers breathed a sigh of relief at action scenes without any shaky camera footage.
As Katniss struggles to reacclimate to life in District 12, other districts seethe with turmoil and rebellion. President Snow presents Katniss with a choice: convince him that her romance with fellow victor Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is real, or lose the ones she loves. Katniss’s PR situation goes from bad to worse on the Victory Tour, and when she defies a Capitol peacekeeper to protect her friend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), President Snow decides that she, and all the previous victors who pose a threat, must die.
Instead of mentoring in the Quarter Quell, the 75th Hunger Games sends Katniss back into the arena. But this time, nothing is as it seems. Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) has a plan, and it’s not the one that President Snow has in mind. Katniss is no longer just the Girl on Fire; now, she’s the Mockingjay, symbol of the rebellion.
In this second movie, viewers learn the real depths of the corruption and decadence of the Capitol. The violence and child murder of the first movie is fully condemned in Catching Fire, which presents the Capitol, embodied in President Snow, as the true villain. Laughing and cheering for children killing children is wrong, and the movie points a finger at a society consumed by entertainment in the form of violence and built on the suffering of others.
Suzanne Collins’s satire and social commentary has reached the silver screen. The consequences of the Capitol’s immorality will hit theaters in Mockingjay Parts I & II in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Enjoy your debauchery now, Capitol, because the Mockingjay is coming for you.