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Walter Chaw Sparks a Revolt With “Catching Fire”

In response to Walter Chaw’s 794‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Film Freak Central

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Walter Chaw’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)” is a deliciously contrarian diatribe that dares to buck conformity and mercilessly bash the latest entry in the  juggernaut young adult franchise, whose fandom is burgeoning to Twilight numbers (and whose denizens are equally vicious).

Critical tirades are dangerous territory; in their eagerness to berate, they often dissolve into boorish ramblings or uninteresting hissy fits.

It’s a thin line, and many critics cross it with frightening regularity, but Chaw’s invective isn’t just hollow ranting. There’s real depth here and his criticisms actually hold water (as opposed to most of the commenters, whose critiques consist of calling Chaw a “bitter little twerp”).

However, as strong as the criticism is here, the work gets dragged down by a few major problems.

Chaw’s vocabulary is rich and he has a gift for colorful phrasing, but, in an attempt to be syntactically diverse, he delivers several sentences that get lost in their own labyrinthine construction. Sadly, some of Chaw’s better points lose their sting as a result.

Also, for those sensitive to spoilers, this is a personal hell. Aspects of the ending are ruined in the first sentence and Chaw has a bad habit of letting plot details slip at a rate of one per paragraph.     

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation