Case in point – after gleaning as much as I could from my wife and her sister on the ride home about what happens next because they’ve both read all of the books, ultimately I ended up turning to Wikipedia to figure out how this whole thing is supposed to wrap up because I definitely don’t see myself waiting out another two years for them to break the final installment into two movies, as is the current trend!
*** SPOILERS, ETC, ETC… ***
So anyways, I liked the first Hunger Games movie. I thought by itself it was really well-done, and amid lots of controversial imagery, it really made a star out of Jennifer Lawrence who seems to really deserve it.
I really had no idea what to expect going into this movie – believe it or not, despite all three of us really looking forward to it, I didn’t do a whole lot of cheating since the last installment … didn’t read the books, didn’t read Wikipedia, and I don’t think that I ever even saw the trailer for Catching Fire, which is kind of surprising. I guess I was curious as to how they were going to shape the whole thing because you know the old saying, “Fool me once into fighting children to the death, shame on you; fool me twice into fighting children to the death, shame on me!”
I was definitely intrigued and encouraged when I saw the vibe of more rebellion beginning to rise as Katniss begins to realize the true impact that her actions had on the people in the last games. Though in a way it kind of made me wonder … if the entire group of tributes didn’t want to have to fight again, hence the holding hands scene during the pre-show, couldn’t they all just say, “Fuck you – we’re not doing it.” on national television and cause an uprising right there??? Instead, they’re like, “We don’t want to fight again, but if we don’t have a choice, then I guess we will…” and it becomes hard to see where this “uprising” is supposed to take place if these heroes don’t just start to rebel when the whole world is watching.
But I don’t know – maybe it’s not as simple as that. Just like a bit earlier than that when Katniss runs in front of Gale getting whipped, what I was hoping for was to see the guard get his ass whooped for defacing the winner of the last games … but then again, I guess President Snow tolerates her but he really doesn’t like her, so allowing even the winner to get roughed up a little kind of helps to advance their goal of oppression and whatnot.
I think the other thing that didn’t really click for me was how Katniss was so much more open to killing her opponents in this game – I mean, right off the bat she shoots one in the opening of the games, and then she has to think long and hard before plucking off another … seems odd when you consider that pretty much all of her kills in the first game are incidental, except for the one who approaches after Rue dies, which makes sense because she was enraged by that point. I guess it just seemed a little bit forced to me, as if it was important for the story for her to be more aggressive and show her true side like the President wanted, whereas that very much wasn’t her in the first movie.
And then the last scene really threw me off because I didn’t entirely catch what all had happened until I went back and read the Wikipedia entry for the book. For example, I thought that Johanna was simply saving Katniss by making it look like she was already dead … I didn’t realize that what she actually was doing was removing her tracker in preparation for the escape. It also wasn’t super clear what had happened with Beetee – she leaves and he has Peeta and Finnick guarding him, she comes back and they’re both gone and he’s dead. Maybe it just went by too quick that I didn’t catch some stuff, but apparently Peeta got captured and Finnick somehow got up to the rescue ship … and I guess Beetee, too?
All I know is that I was a little bummed when it all ended. I thought it was going to be even worse, with Katniss opening her eyes literally right before the credits rolled, but even revealing that she hadn’t been captured by the Capital and that instead the true rebellion was now beginning (again), I definitely would’ve liked more … which I suppose is the whole point of a good cliffhanger, but still!
From what I’ve read now online, it sounds like the next one(s) could really be anybody’s game – no more Hunger Games themselves, this time focusing instead on the actual rebellion and fighting and Katniss trying to save Peeta, even though she probably won’t have gotten over Gale by then anyways … that’s the other thing that I didn’t really like, how the first twenty minutes of this movie was just Katniss pining over boys! Like seriously, your life is shit and the world is shit and the government is oppressing the masses, and yet you’ve got time to pine over two boys?! Come on, just because Twilight did it doesn’t mean that you have to, too.
Now let’s see if I remember any of this another year from now when part 1 of the last book comes out!
Man, I really wish that they’d stop doing that … and Part 2 isn’t even set for the next spring, like they at least had the decency to do with Harry Potter… 🙁