Catching Fire’s new director Gary Ross (I Am Legend, Seabicuit) has raised the bar on the whole series much like Alfonso Cuarón did for the Harry Potter films.
Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence has upped her game too. She plays her warrior princess character, Katniss, with more expression than she did in the first film and the whole cast is spotless. Like The Avengers proved, having accomplished actors in a fantasy film makes all the difference.
This new installment turns up the heat on the series with multiple action scenes, more costumes, new characters — and more importantly, genuine dollops of suspense. Who’s coming after the heroes? Who’s really an ally? That stuff kept me in the game.
Simply put: If you liked the first one, the odds are in your favor on Catching Fire.
Award potential: None, but it’s a real crowd pleaser.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks. Thank you, someone, for not making this a 3D event.