For me, the 75th Hunger Games proved to be as tiresome, and no less unfulfilling, as the 74th.
Barely have Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her cohorts returned to their impoverished District 12 after their victory in Hunger Games 74 and embark on the victory tour when they’re caught up in President Snow’s plot to destroy Katniss for inspiring rebellion in the districts.
Kill or Be Killed
Snow is beset by the same worry that besets all tyrants, from Stalin to Kim Jong-un.
The constant fear that rebellion could lead to an uprising that could bring forth the dreaded revolution.
Along with a violent crackdown on the districts, Snow orders all current champions to compete in the Quarter Quell, a once in 25-years event a.k.a. 75th Hunger Games.
Katniss and her boy-toy Peeta get the dire warning from their mentor Haymitch Abernathy:
Last year was child’s play. This year, we’re going to be dealing with disciplined killers.
The rest of Hunger Games Catching Fire is a regurgitation of the wild, Darwinian kill or be killed adventure in the forests.
Escape from the poisonous fog; Escape from the wild baboons; Escape from lightning; Escape from blood rain; Escape from the rivals.
None of which I found stirring.
Meanwhile, I prayed for escape from the endless tedium but to little avail.
On a conceptual level, it’s as if the Hunger Games producers have a fixed template and made some changes within the framework and released it as the second film in the series.
Jennifer Lawrence is a top-notch actress, perhaps the best among the younger crop of Hollywood stars.
But the two Hunger Games films have left me cold!
Thanks to the well orchestrated maelstrom of publicity surrounding the Hunger Games series and the obsession of teenagers, last night’s release of the sequel attracted a sizable crowd.
Theatres across America are running multiple shows of Hunger Games: Catching Fire to almost full capacity.
I find it mystifying that mediocre movies like Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga that combine a romance triangle with some wild adventurist fantasy have struck a huge chord with America’s youngsters, particularly girls.
Perhaps, the answer to success of such drivel is rooted in the grim hopelessness that America’s youngsters are staring at.
America’s youth lives in a miasma of fear today – fear of not getting jobs, fear of not finding money for the obscene cost of college education, fear of not getting adequate healthcare, fear of not being able to maintain current standards of living, fear of not being able to afford the latest electronic toys, fear of not finding the money to repay their high debts, fear of losing their jobs, fear of losing their homes, fear ad nauseum.
Maybe, these fear-ridden zombies misguidedly believe President Snow is right when he intones: Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.
In my not-so-humble opinion, hope is deadlier than fear because it lulls you into inaction. Fear, at least, prods you to some action.
Hunger Games: Catching Fire ends abruptly suggesting we’re in for another ordeal via the third installment.
God, I hope the revolution will be complete and Katniss brings down President Snow and the Capitol so that my suffering ends.