The Hunger GAMES ‘Catch­ing Fire’ se­quel im­proves on pre­de­ces­sor in ev­ery way, even if it does look a lit­tle pe­cu­liar

Australian T3 - - PLAY -

This of­ten grip­ping se­quel builds on the first film’s phenom­e­nal suc­cess with al­most un­nec­es­sar­ily strong act­ing from Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Har­rel­son and the late Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man. We say un­nec­es­sary, be­cause its teen and teen-at-heart au­di­ence would likely turn up even if the thes­p­ing was all of the “qual­ity” of Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutch­er­son as Lawrence’s drippy love ri­vals. It’s very sim­i­lar to the first film struc­turally but ev­ery­thing is bet­ter, grit­tier and more sat­is­fy­ingly paced, with the ac­tual “Games” lit­er­ally more adult – it’s not kids fight­ing kids any­more, it’s a grown-up cham­pi­ons’ league of is­land homi­cide. An­other plus: less of the ac­tion takes place in the Cap­i­tal, which means less lava lamp-like pseudo-fu­tur­is­tic­ness in the cos­tumes, props and mad hair – though, as the im­age above proves, there’s still some. $30 BD, $30 DL, out now

Al­ways be sure to salute the fash­ion po­lice

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