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Anders Wright’s Review of “Catching Fire” Is Worthy Criticism

In response to Anders Wright’s 800‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on San Diego Union-Tribune

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Anders Wright’s “Review: Hunger Games Getting Better” is an interesting ride through American fantasy film lore. Wright evenhandedly evaluates the movie’s strengths and weaknesses with an eye on where it fits in the pantheon of fantasy films like “Star Wars” and “The Matrix”.

That eye, though generally admiring, it should be added, is refreshingly jaundiced as well. “‘Catching Fire’” is designed to carry the franchise and its legions of fans from the original film through to the third book, ‘Mockingjay,’ which will take place over the course of two more sure-to-be-profitable movies.”

Wright’s review captures the feelings of jaded moviegoers who’re treading water in the flood of young adult fantasy novel adaptations spewing forth from Hollywood while at the same time not descending into knee-jerk cynicism.

Readers will find it different to read a review not immediately dismissive of sequels. Wright can appreciate the maturity of “Catching Fire” over the original movie, while still missing the clearly defined emotional arc Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen experienced in the first film.

Also, he rightly defines and appreciates Jennifer Lawrence’s role beyond her role as Katniss Everdeen in the “Hunger Games” series without gushing, i. e. the movies’ success or failure depend on her performance.

Wright comes close to damning the movie with faint praise but in the end he might win the movie a few new fans.    

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