Directed by Francis Lawrence, Katniss Everdeen (Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence) is back in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
After winning the 74th games with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss becomes the concerned focus of The Capitol. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is keen to prevent an uprising in the districts of Panem. Acting both as spokesmen and distractions, the winners put on a brave face as they recite lines to pacify the crowds.
When the Capitol are still not satisfied, they announce a special twist for the 75th Hunger Games (or third quarter quell to be precise). Past victors must return to the arena once more to fight to the death...
Even during a pre-games training exercise, it's clear that Katniss has become quite the badass with a bow and arrow. Though she'll have much more to contend with than just the surviving victors, as the new arena is an ever-changing death trap.
All returning for the sequel, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman round out an excellent cast. With sharp dialogue, lavish costumes, gripping drama and an excitement-packed Hunger Games, Catching Fire raises the series from being enjoyable to essential viewing.
If the mounting unrest in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a taster of things to come, then Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 could be quite spectacular indeed...
The two-disc Blu-ray also includes over two hours of bonus features, including a commentary with directer Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson, a nine part "making-of" documentary and deleted scenes.
Review by: Sarah O'Connell
Review Date: 17th March 2014
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Rating out of 5: