Pause for kids 13 & under
Fans will approve of gripping & violent middle installment.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second installment in the Hunger Games trilogy. Although the book series is extremely popular with tweens and even younger elementary-school readers, the movie may be too dark and violent for even mature tween readers. The violence includes deaths by stabbing, shooting, animal attacks, and poison, as well as torture, threats, and explosions. The language includes "s--t," and one bleeped out use of "f--k" and other expletives. There's more romance in Catching Fire as Katniss struggles with her feelings for both Peeta and Gale. Alcohol is present in a few scenes (Katniss takes a drink), and there are references to painkiller addicts. Katniss is a flawed but excellent role model for teen girls, and the movie offers many discussion points about politics, war, feminism, and materialism.
- Families can talk about the political messages in Catching Fire. Why are Katniss and Peeta so horrified when they go on the tour of the Districts? How is President Snow a totalitarian ruler? What does the movie say about political systems where a tiny few have all the wealth?
- How does Katniss compare to other female protagonists in young adult books and movies? What are her views on love, marriage, and kids, and how are they tied to the unimaginably dire circumstances she endures?
- Is it different to see violence rather than to read about it? Do you think the book and the movie are appropriate for different age-groups?
The good stuff
Messages: The movie, like the book, contains many thought-provoking messages and themes about totalitarian government, the importance of symbols to causes and movements, the will to survive versus the courage to sacrifice yourself, the lives of the few versus the greater good for all, and more. Depending on the age of your kid, you can discuss everything from the gluttony of privilege to the seeds of revolution to the need for people to stand up for others.
Role models: Katniss continues to be brave, selfless, and resourceful; she wants to save Peeta even if it costs her life. Peeta in turn wants to do the same for Katniss; he's kind and giving. Gale is a loving friend who wants to help Katniss recognize her potential as a symbol for the revolution. Haymitch is an alcoholic but looks out for Katniss and Peeta; Cinna offers Katniss sympathy and support. Other allies sacrifice themselves to help Katniss and Peeta.
What to watch for
Violence: Like the original, Catching Fire contains violence in the Games and out of it, though quick edits avoid the most brutal moments. The Games consist of previous Victors, so the youngest contestants are 17-year-old Katniss and Peeta. Government "Peacekeepers" viciously torture Gale, strike Katniss, and kill civilians throughout the Districts (some deaths occur just off camera). A black market is ransacked and Katniss' loved ones are threatened. During the Games, the contestants are stabbed, poisoned, drowned and killed in various ways. Katniss, Finnick, and Peeta are covered in boils after being exposed to a poisonous fog. There are a few moments like when the monkey muttations attack that will make audiences jump in their seats. There are also several scenes of people in the Districts rioting.
Sex: More kisses all around for Katniss, who kisses both Gale and Peeta a few times each -- one scene with Peeta is particularly passionate. As in the book, Johanna Mason strips naked (only her shoulders and others' reactions are visible) in front of Haymitch, Katniss, and Peeta after flirting with Peeta and asking "What's it like to have everyone in the Capitol want to sleep with you?"
Language: More language than the original, including "s--t," and bleeped out use of Johanna's "f--k" filled tirade on the Caesar Flickerman show.
Consumerism: No brands featured in the movie, but the film has merchandise tie-ins including apparel, accessories, nail polish, games, and figurines.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Haymitch is known for drinking excessively and is often shown drinking or with a drink in his hand. Katniss takes a swig after bad news. People drink at Capitol parties, and one Capitol partier offers Peeta a drink that will make him vomit so he can keep eating. The District 6 Tributes are called "The Morphlings," because of their addiction to the narcotic painkiller.
Fan Reviews provided by
Catching Fire review by strong48
I thought the second Hunger Games was TERRIFIC! The first one was great and set the base story. The second gave more detail and insight into the entire story. The new characters in the game were interesting and just info was shared. I am waiting very impatiently for the next movie. GO SEE THIS ONE!!!
Catching Fire by kenwattsmusic
Interesting and exciting, I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel. The set design, costuming, and cinematography seemed to be the movie's forte, creating memorable images for viewers. I would advise, however, that you take in the first Hunger Games prior to seeing "Catching Fire" in order to fully understand and appreciate plot and character development. It seems to me that this 'action-adventure' series embodies a profound
sense of our current state of affairs within our society thereby appealing to adults as well as children. I would not recommend this feature for children under 10 due to frequent images that might be disturbing.
Better than the first by dc1517
I loved this movie. I would have to give it 5 out of 5 stars which I rarely ever do. I would agree with other reviews in that it did not seem any where close to an over 2 hour 26 min. movie. Didn't even feel like 2 hours.
Highly recommend this movie. I have not read the books so I don't know how the film compared to the book.
AMAZING!!! by sheilajones25
Loved this movie. It was a great sequel. This is def a must see movie. The story line was great and the characters were even better. The graffics and fight scenes were awesome. I just love the hunger games. You will not be disappointed spending money to go see this one it was well worth it!!! I took my 12 year old niece to see this movie and she loved it!
Hunger Games a tale for our times by zerodragon
First, I avoided the first Hunger Games as the idea of it made me angry. Not at the movie or the story but the idea of the government basically executing 23 teens without having blood on their hands, literally. However in the real world governments do that all the time via war, and for a long time now wars have been fought on the behalf of the corporations. I finally realized I needed to see the original which pulled me and and by the end felt like a call be defiant. The Hunger Games Catching fire pulled that together as the outright brutally of the decant face of the corporate run government showed their ugly face.
I needn't say more as I feel all the reviews have covered other aspects of why this is a great movie, or even why some didn't like it. What I am saying that this is defiantly the move of our times as we watch the corporations take over and turn the US into districts 1-13.
Yes, there is a third movie so you can't miss this one by ekvegas
and the set up is perfect. The only disadvantage is you need the first one to understand the second one. Can't see these out of order or jump in the middle.
The movie felt like some scenes were missing by richardacusick
As so often occurs when a movie is adapted from a popular book, there was something missing from the final theatre version: scenes, plot development, context, character development to name a few. I hope part three is more complete.
Really enjoyed this movie... by chrylrx
I had read all 3 books in the Hunger Games Series, and I also saw the first movie...I would say the first was just alright, but this second movie was really good. I completely enjoyed it and it was very much like the book. The movie is 2 hrs and 26 minutes long, but it went by so fast I couldn't believe it. I wanted it to continue on...but I guess I will have to wait for #3!
Great! by Asphalt_Queen
The second movie was much better than the first. True to the book and acting has improved. Four of us went and we all loved it.
THE HUNGER GAMES, CATCHING FIRE by dege995
Awesome. Really enjoyed it. Action was great. Scenery was beautiful. Can't want until Nov 2012 and Nov 2015. Was as good as the first. Anyone who saw the first should go see this movie.