Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and all your cartoon pals.
Have I Seen it Before: Yes, again, strangely I’m not sure under what circumstances.
Did I Like It: Yes, and that much was pretty surprising. Honestly, halfway through the series, I’m not sure why I’m so skeptical about the proceedings on spec.
Not much to say about the film itself, aside from the fact that it suitably raises the stakes (if not the believability, but more on that later) on the character’s plight in slightly predictable ways, and ends with a cliffhanger that propels the action forward in ways I actually found surprising on first blush. General critical consensus would indicate that the film is more self-assured than the first, but I don’t know if I buy this as a particular evolution among the filmmakers, or more of a general byproduct of sequels freeing themselves from large swaths of exposition.
But I have a few more thoughts on my Big Questions(™) regarding the mythology behind these stories.
So, if the world of Panem our future, or some fantasy land about which we’re not supposed to think of the origins? This has led me to some moderate Wikipedia surfing to find that the general consensus is that Panem is, indeed, future America, with the heroic District 12 located in the coal country of West and Regular Virginia, and the Capitol apparently being built over what was once Salt Lake City, Utah.
This only serves to aggravate my skepticism about the proceedings. Why has anyone thought the actual Hunger Games—except for maybe the exception of Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci)—were a good idea? I mean, fear, sure. That always helps the bad guys, but the rules were always going to break the whole damn thing down. Does anyone think ahead anymore? Also, and again a question renewed from my Hunger Games review: how does Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) accomplish living this long? He’s a baker and constantly in danger. I’m getting the sinking feeling that there is a possibility the story might illuminate my first question, but have little hope that there’s ever going to be an explanation for Peeta’s longevity.