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Carla Meyer’s Blaze Burns Too Long in “Catching Fire”

In response to Carla Meyer’s 1080‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Sacramento Bee

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Never let it be said that Carla Meyer is a lazy critic. She’s put in her work and it shows in “Movie review: ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ delivers more mood than action.” At 1080 words, her piece qualifies as a mini opus in a day when most reviews hover around the 400 word mark.  

Length is both Meyer’s enemy and her friend in Catching Fire. On the one hand, she has plenty of space in which to stretch out and make herself comfortable as she expounds on her many insights.

She hits on every requisite cornerstone of a competent review: the direction is “coy” and “lacks some of the freshness” of the first film, but “fine performances” and “accomplished production design” rescue the film and deliver “a mood that’s consistently oppressive but also engaging and never devoid of hope.”

However, with all this room to roam, Meyer gets a little wordy with her synopsizing, and, as a result, the work sags considerably in the middle.

The writing, while consistently satisfactory, isn’t engaging enough to keep readers plugged in through all the needless rehashing.

A little tightening up could have rescued this one but alas, there’s too much dead weight here to really recommend.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation