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Bill Goodykoontz’s “Catching Fire” Is a Taught, Concise Review

In response to Bill Goodykoontz’s 658‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Arizona Republic

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Reviews of the first Hunger Games movie were a mixed bag. Many of them tended to be rambling and unfocused, and they failed to capture the spirit of the movie. That has been rectified with Bill Goodykoontz’s “‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,’ 4 stars,” a confident, svelte  review of the sequel.

Many times, the reviews of sequels don’t quite live up to the reviews of the original films. That is not the case here, where the change in quality from the first film to the second has given reviews of the franchise a new lease on life. Goodykoontz takes full advantage of this, packing his review with the sort of energy and excitement one would hope for in a review of a dystopian sci-fi thriller.

There are a lot of characters to follow in Catching Fire, and it is to Goodykoontz’s credit that he is able to contextualize so many of them in his review without things going off the rails.  He uses them to explore the theme of the movies, each character representing a different aspect—the violence, the pageantry, the love triangle. They are all integral to understanding the film as a whole.

Goodykoontz could have rested on his laurels with Catching Fire, content to get pageviews by coasting by on the popularity of the original film. Instead, he pushes forward with a review that is thrilling and insightful.    

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