It is time to go on a starvation diet. Feeding the Hunger will melt your brain. The second helping of this franchise tastes like the first, only more acidic.
There is nothing fresh here and, like last week’s rubbish, has begun to stink.
The original concept mixed Aztec human sacrifice with gladiatorial combat, as if murder is Reality TV’s glittering future. This unnamed country has been divided into regions, each of which must send a “tribute” to the games every year.
These contestants are let loose in a forest where they face manufactured predators and each other.
The last man/woman standing is allowed to go home.
Catching Fire repeats the process, but because this is the 75th anniversary of the first games, the “tributes” are selected from past winners, which is why the archer, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), gets to go again.
The mood is darker. Life in the regions has been subjected to something North Koreans would understand – brutal suppression.
The games themselves are more cynically presented and artificially manipulated to the detriment of the contestants, employing techniques used in The Truman Show and The Cabin In The Woods.
The lack of originality matches continuity glitches, such as Katniss’s quiver (always full) and bow which is swept from her hand in a raging flood, only to be back minutes later.
Let’s not quibble over plot discrepancies. The film does not deserve such scrutiny.
Nasty, repetitive and wrapped in fashionable confusion, it should be left to rot in the cupboard beneath the stairs.
Lawrence won an Oscar for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook. Unless she signed a contract with the Hunger brigade to appear in the next five massacres she should walk away now.
This isn’t acting; it’s mind abuse.
And what in the name of respect is Philip Seymour Hoffman doing here?