Iffy for 13+
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!!!
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.
Hunger Games #2 - Only if you Know the story by joei47
Loved the movie. They really are following the books closely and the acting is great. One word of caution - don't go see it if you haven't seen Movie No. 1 or have read the books. I took my husband to this one and he was completely lost. I had to bring him up to date afterwards so he could understand what was going on.
I did find the ending a little abrupt. Felt like it should have said "To Be Continued" as the final screen, like they do with TV shows.
Fantastic Thought Provoking Film by Spokane4012
Emotionally touching and thought provoking film. I got up in this cinematic world. I identified strongly with these characters and this story. I highly recommend this film.
Catching fire by kimco28
We enjoyed the movie. The movie was a little slow at times it felt like a repeat of the first movie. They could have made it a little more exciting in the middle of the movie. We liked the ending. You can take the family to this movie.
Awesome! Better than the first one! by courtneymacbeth
This movie was better than the first movie and I liked the first movie!! They really included a lot from the first book that they left out of the first movie. The arena in this movie is fantastic and the execution is well done. Do not be intimidated by the length this movie says. It went by so fast!! There was never a lull and I found myself saying "aaaaw***... dang it!" at the end instead of "Whew! That was almost 3 hours!".
It's definitely a MUST SEE!!!!
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.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Is A Must See!! by mmsmith831
When movie studios make sequels it can sometimes be hit or miss as most of us movie goers have experienced, so let me just clarify that Catching Fire was a most definite "HIT"!! It completely drew me in from the very opening scene and held me at the edge of my seat for the remaining two hours. The continuity was excellent, seamlessly and effortlessly picking up where it left off from the first movie. The cinematography and location's were absolutely breathtaking! There were plenty of twist's and turns enough to surprise me around every corner and the CGI's were not overdone to the point where it took away from the live action. With an excellent story line and a stellar cast, Catching Fire is a great addition to the Hunger Games franchise! All I can say is, when will the next one be coming out? 5 Stars and a big 2 thumbs up!!
For people who saw the first one (if you liked Hunger Games, you have to see this) by deniseswall
I loved the movie, but I hated the ending. I understand that if you read the books, you'll know what's coming. But, if you didn't read the books, you'll love very minute but the last 5! It's such a strange ending. Leaving so many questions unanswered. I guess I'll have to go to the last movie.
The Hunger Games Catching Fire by plsaurman
The acting is phenomenal. Especially Catness ?sp. You can really feel her disdain for what she has done and is about to do, even to save her and her family's life. The total absurdity of what is happening to this generation leaves you feeling totally helpless. Even the supporters of the victors showed true emotion about what was happening to the young warriors. It is kind of disheartening that the next generation of very young people are seeing some kind of honor in what is going on and cannot wait for their
turn to serve.
The storyline wasn't without it's gruesome scenes that just make you cringe, but I was relieved that they did not have to resort to blatant sex to sell this and the previous movie. Kudos to Hollywood. Great casting and visuals.
Must see. Looking forward to the next sequel.