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Kelly Vance Tries to Mount a Revolution in “Catching Fire”

In response to Kelly Vance’s 369‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on East Bay Express

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Clever and charmingly irreverent from the start, Kelly Vance’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” slaps you square across the jaw and demands you pay attention.

The opening is a stern warning to a few characters in the film that the revolution is about to commence and it, like the rest of the review, is confrontational in the best way.

Vance has been criticized in the past for writing shorter than short reviews, but here her she’s chosen to expand (a little) and the results are great. Catching Fire plays like a punk song; staying around too long is grating, but short, furious, and visceral get the job done just right.

But, just like hardcore punk, there’s not much depth here and Vance often misses out on the chance to indulge in the more melodic beats of criticism. The cast is hurriedly given kudos, but the script is completely overlooked, as is any real critique of the direction.

The prose is where Vance really makes her bones. It’s perfectly off beat and deliciously rowdy in tone, with the critic firing snark bombs at anything and everything.

It’s too bad all the exuberance and riotous writing doesn’t add up to anything more substantial.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation