The Hunger Games was a huge box office hit two years ago. Millions of people watch Katniss Everdeens fight for survival against other children. It was a cruel game for the rich for the simple sake of enjoying themselves. A brutal world as portrayed in other media like “Battle Royal”. The novel adaptation was decent at best, but for the second installment everything is different. Most prominent change was the director from Gary Ross to Francis Lawrence. Who thought this would change everything about the movie… in the best ways!
The first movie had many flaws. The biggest for me was the crappy cgi-effects, that felt like ones for low budget movies. They were simply not suitable for a movie of such potential and felt like the producer tried to put barely money into this project. The second mistake was the photographic direction. There were so many scenes which were barely watchable through all this extreme shaking. Both critics are now gone. Francis Lawrance knows how to handle an epic story well. No more shaking, instead he uses quite fantastic pictures to portray Katniss struggle. You really can feel epicness in some of the shots, which was never like that in the first one. Also the cgi-effects are done better, but not on par with high profilic movies like marvel ones.
Its seems like producers know that their target audience doesn’t care so much about the spectacle rather than the emotional story. The story this time has more of that, a lot more… nearly half of the movie consist of Katniss crying like a little girl and giving the fault to everyone else. She has many chances or risks she could take but every time she turns away, acts indecisive. She is in love with Gale, the rough manly boy and Peta the nice and smart guy who does everything to protect… just not as hot looking as the other one. Too bad that he will be enough for her to care for her sorrow, but not enough to be loved by her. Katniss is always portrayed as a strong female lead, which I never understood. For me is Peta, like Samwise in “The Lord of the Rings” the truly strong character, who never hesitates. I stopped counting Katniss cry after ten times.
The story itself feels quite repetitive. You get another game, Katniss can’t choose her beloved again and there aren’t any surprising things going on. The first half in the capitol felt boring. The pause screen appeared and I thought: “Oh my god, that was only the first half?” But don’t worry, the second half is spectacular. It's not anymore about Katniss changing dresses in every freaking scene, instead it focuses on the battles and cruelty of the games. Even though this movie got a low rating again the action feels heavier. It doesn’t feel like something is missing just to turn the violence down. Even though I just bad mouthed the dresses, but they are actually quite lovely this time, with the exception of the jeans outfit right under here:
In conclusion: The movies does everything better than the first one and adapts the novel faithfully. Unfortunately the second book itself wasn’t that good and that’s the problem of the movie. The directors did the best he could in a small time frame, which is quite impressive seeing how many flaws the production had for him. Everyone who wants to watch a good Young Adult movie or liked the first one will like this one.