on 23 November 2013
'Catching Fire' is my favourite book in the 'Hunger Games' trilogy and I wasn't disappointed by the translation of it to the big screen. Yes, some scenes have been left out or changed, but with the changes I personally think they work better for those seeing the film who haven't read the books. Overall, it's very faithful to the book.
The directing, special effects and acting all bring to life the darkness and emotional intensity of the story. Starting soon after the 74th games, Katniss and Peeta (along with their families and mentor Haymitch) are living in Victors Village. But with the victory tour of the other 11 districts, where all the tributes died in the arena, about to begin, and with rumours of a rebellion, it seems life is not to get any easier for Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch.
I don't want to spoil the film for anyone who hasn't the read the book so won't add any spoilers. Suffice to say that 'The Hunger Games' set the scene and 'Catching Fire' takes the story to a whole new level. It's a heartbreaking, shocking, breathtaking, suspenseful, funny, moving and thought provoking rollercoster ride of a film. Jennifer Lawrence is particularly outstanding as Katniss, although all the performances are strong. I'm only sorry we now have a wait a whole year to see the next installment, 'Mockingjay Part 1'.
Incredible, memorable film, well worth seeing even if you haven't the read the books (although it might help to see 'Hunger Games' first as it really does set the scene and will help you understand the background).
on 30 July 2016
This film was satisfactorily gripping and exciting enough to want to watch the next installment with some eagerness.
Something of a world in itself, this adventure doesn't compete with some of the bigger sci-fi adventures but is still very watchable quite a few times over, combining clever special effects with fun ideas for props, as was the case with the proceeding films in this series.
I did take time to getting round to watching these films as my initial response to the hype was that they seemed a little...under-budgeted, production-wise, and also thought these films were coming under the umbrella of teenage chick-flick movies, but when I actually sat down to watch them for the first time, in the right order, the effects were fine, it was fun, and was just tipping into the bearable side of pretentious...by the time I got to this film I was very much into it all. One episode effortlessly flowed into the next.
This and the next film were probably the best of the four.
I found this second, more serious and much darker "Hunger Games" film, even BETTER than the first one. Below more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.
First let's say that this film sticks to the book very closely. Of course there is no way you can show during 145 minutes everything that a book contains (and therefore the characters of Bonnie and Twill among others are not shown), but I believe virtually everything important is included. And that is a precious thing.
All actors did great. Jennifer Lawrence who plays Katniss Everdeen is of course THE STAR of this film, but everybody around her performed also flawlessly.
The best performance is offered by Josh Hutcherson who plays Peeta Mellark, a young boy madly in love with Katniss and linked to her in most complex ways since a long time. This role is the most difficult in all film as Peeta is a most complicated character: a baker's son, weaker than many of other young males around and definitely not born to be any kind of hero he nevertheless soldiers on through all the hardships and relentlessly pursues the woman of his life through all the nine circles of hell - and beyond...
Much more attractive, stronger and very manly Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) is by comparison a little bit easier to play, but the events put him also in a position not easy at all... Which gives a quite interesting love triangle.
Young actors who play new characters of Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) and Johanna Mason (Jena Malone) were very well selected. He is an extremely handsome and very vain young hunk - with brains and a plan. She is not very appealing physically, but she got enough character, potty mouth and (bad)attitude to spread amongst a battalion of more average girls - and still have enough for her own needs...)))
Older actors give also a great show and we have a lot of them. Donald Sutherland is of course the greatest of them and we all know how much he enjoys playing characters which are odd and also sometimes evil - and here he gives us a great show portraying the aged supreme master of Panem, president Coriolanus Snow, a man both odd AND evil... Haymitch has more screen time in this film than in the previous one and Woody Harrelson plays him splendidly - and that is a huge compliment coming from me as I usually don't like this actor. At all.
Effie Trinket - a really splendid and so appropriate last name by the way - also appears more in this film. We come therefore to know her as a person who is simultaneously grievously annoying, heavily ridiculous, enragingly insufferable and beautifully pathetic - and Elizabeth Banks plays her just like it should be done. Lenny Kravitz offers a surprisingly good and serious performance as Cinna. Stanley Tucci is of course a treasure as Caesar Flickerman, a TV show host and great regime propagandist whom we want to strangle from the second he appears on the screen...))) And then there is Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker of 75th Hunger Games, successor of the most unfortunate Seneca Crane who "choose to stop breathing" in the previous film...
In smaller but important roles we have Amanda Plummer (Honey Bunny from "Pulp Fiction") as Wiress and Lynn Cohen (Ukrainian baby sitter Magda in "Sex and the city") as Mags. And also Patrick St. Esprit as Head Peacekeeper Romulus Thread. Honestly, as dissuasion and pacification tools go, the face of this guy alone is worth a whole Panzer division - and then there is still all the rest of him...
A digression here for "Star Wars" fanboys and firearms maniacs. First, it was a great idea (and I think also a tribute to Star Wars) both in book and the film to follow George Lucas and dress the bad guys in white...))) Also, firearms maniacs will appreciate the Peacemakers being armed with Belgian 5,7 mm FNP90, an indeed very futuristic looking weapon, but actually in service since 1990 and presently used by more than 40 countries. This weapon, which has a rate of fire so high that it is possible to cut a man in half with a short burst, was actually already used by the security troops of one bloodthirsty tyrant, overthrown and killed by insurgents - Muammar Gaddafi... End of digression for "Star Wars" fanboys and firearms maniacs.
Willow Shields who plays Primrose Everdeen appears only briefly and her character has in fact only one line to say - but when she says it, this is a GREAT moment! And then there is little Erika Bierman, barely 12 years old (but looking 9), who plays president's Snow granddaughter, a lovely little thing who speaks only like twice in this film, every time hurting and scaring her dear Grandpa worse than ten thousands armed rebels could ever do...)))
Although not appearing as a character, in this film there is also Rue, the cute little girl from District 11. As we know she was killed in the previous games - but her picture appears in a couple of moments in this film and every time it occurs it is an indictment of the Capitol, stronger than a 10 000 words accusation act...
The Arena built for those very special 75th Hunger Games is a really hellish place. Suzan Collins must be quite a kinky gal for inventing such a perversely twisted tool of torture and murder. The whole games are therefore a pretty dramatic thing, albeit ultimately not as dramatic as those portrayed in the previous film (guess we are now more used to the whole thing).
But the reason why I believe this film is SUPERIOR to the previous one resides in all parts which take place BEFORE the games themselves - and they constitute more than half of the film. The feeling of omnipresent TERROR all around the Panem is portrayed very well indeed - and all those who, like me, once lived under an authoritarian repressive regime (I grew up in communist Poland) will fully appreciate it.
The mixture of oppression, repression, censorship, shortage of everything (when in the same time regime's nomenklatura lives in opulence), black market as a coping mechanism, the violence of little local tyrants serving the regime, the feeling of powerlessness - it is all there. And then come the whispers of something going on, then some official flags are ripped off at night, then appears the first writing on the wall, the first stone is thrown against a patrolling police car, first signs of rebellion appear and with them HOPE - but also the first dead... It is all there.
The second "Hunger Games" is therefore for my personal taste a darker, more serious (sometimes even sinister) treat, very usefully reminding especially the younger viewers what exactly an oppressive regime LOOKS and FEELS like and how difficult and COSTLY it is to regain the freedom once it was lost - or even worse forfeited... And this part of the film definitely overshadows the adventure/action scenes and any kind of love triangle.
The very LAST scene, not involving any actors but just some graphics, is simply GREAT and so full of promise for the next film that I simply cannot wait to see it - and see it I will, as surely as I will buy this one on Blu-ray, as soon as it is available. Definitely. Catch this film as long as it is still playing in theaters - it is worth it. Enjoy!
I'd been looking forward to the second in the series with great anticipation,
the first was in my view indeed brilliant.
The winners of the 74th Hunger Games 'Katniss Everdeen'(Jennifer Lawrence) and
'Peeta Mellark'(Josh Hutcherson) have to leave their families behind to embark on a victory
tour organised by the 'Establishment' and read out the pre-written speeches, much to the annoyance
of the tour organisers, the pair are not playing by the rules.
District by district is visited by the pair, 'Katniss' begins to sense the undertones of
a rebellion, a observation not missed by 'President Snow'(Donald Sutherland)
The President announces a deadly 75th Hunger Games with a few rule changes,this time former winners
will be matched against each other.
'Katniss' and 'Hamitch's' name are drawn from area '12'.....quickly 'Peetra' offers to take
'Hamitch's' place an offer that cannot be overruled, so the winners of the 74th are back in the fray.
Candidates from many of the other districts are considerably more experience
than 'Katniss' and 'Peetra' which makes them rank outsiders, odds that suit the
President's intent, as he believes that the districts are inspired by last years winners.
Let the Games begin.............
'Jennifer Lawrence' is again outstanding in her role as 'Katniss Everdeen'
An exciting and often tense adventure with several superb action sequences
within the created jungle in which the ruling establishment try to orchestrate the outcome of the games for both entertainment and of course self-preservation.
Sadly the role of 'Plutarch Heavensbee'part of the 2nd part of 'Mokingjay' will have
to be altered following the recent passing of actor 'Phillip Seymour Hoffman'
The story has been set up perfectly for the 3rd in the series, trouble is we almost
certainly have to wait a while to see it Well worth a viewing
*Audio commentary with director 'Mikael Hafstrom' and writer 'Miles Chapman'
*Security: The real life of Tomb.
*Executing the plan.
*Clash of the Titans.
As it turns out the Hunger Games was not berry good for the empire as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has inspired hope and rebellion. Instead of just killing her, they have changed the rules ( see Jonathan "Roller Ball") and devised a new Hunger Game of past contestants. The game is stacked against her as contestants must battle the elements more than each other.
The beginning of the film lacks the crazy action of the second half, but it is theme driven for the true sci-fi fan. Katniss is a hero, but as she says, "By killing people." In those 3 simple words. Katniss who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, conveys the perplexity of war heroes with a moral conscience. The film also touches on the power of celebrity as they "never get off this train: and the trouble they cause if the don't "stick to the script." The culture is set up similar to the Roman Empire where bread and circus' s keep the masses in check and where Romans "Eat to puke and puke to eat." Katniss, is a hero because her compassion expresses in all of us the person we want to be. As such it is easy for her to gain allies.
The film contains all the elements of an ideal cult classic complete with theme, special effects, drama, top stars, and a touch of light humor.
I do not recommend watching this film if you haven't seen the first one (or read the books) as it doesn't recap.
Some time has passed after the end of The Hunger Games and Katniss and Peeta have not spoken to each other at all since returning to District 12. Catching Fire opens on the day of the 'Victory Tour' around the country and President Snow unexpectedly arrives to tell Katniss that he is angry with her for sparking what could be a rebellion in all the districts. He wishes her to convince the public that the threat to eat the poisonous berries in the arena was an act of love and not one of rebellion or else he'll hurt her loved ones. Katniss reluctantly agrees but as the tour gets started and they move through each district, they see more and more acts of rebellion in the crowds and become more and more horrified by the Capitol's brutal treatment of these rebels. Later, it is announced that for the 75th Hunger Games, the third Quarter Quell, there will be a twist and the volunteers will be picked from the pool of previous victors. Katniss and Peetasoon find themselves back in the arena, this time with allies Finnick and Mags from District 4, and things are even more brutal before.
Catching Fire has you gripping the edge of your seat from the very beginning. Now I know that sounds like a massive cliché, but it is actually true! There is such a tense atmosphere in this film as rebellion seems to be brewing and no one knows who to trust. This film is highly exciting and much flashier than The Hunger Games but this is definitely a good thing. The special effects are much better and highly impressive, as is the setting and the costumes.
Although this is quite an action packed film, there were also many very emotional scenes in which I was on the point of tears in. This plot is actually quite moving as a lot of people are wronged and killed unjustly throughout the series and I'm glad that this more melancholic tone was able to shine through as well. That said, there are also several funny parts so it's not too depressing.
I really liked the way that Katniss' character has developed since The Hunger Games. She was always a strong and brave character, but she's put up even more walls between herself and everyone else and seems to have age several years since she went into the arena. Although she is admirable, she is not always the most likeable of characters as she comes across as a little cold. In Catching Fire we see the relationship between Katniss and Peeta develop some more and we see more of Katniss' sensitive side which is interesting. Jennifer Lawrence continues to portray Katniss as a very real and raw character and seems to get it just right.
I was a little disappointed by Peeta's part in this film as I felt that he didn't have a substantial role. Although he was often being talked about or seen on screen, he doesn't do a great deal of talking and his presence wasn't felt very strongly in my opinion. There were lots of sweet moments from Peeta but apart from these Peeta/Katniss moments, I don't think he was given much attention. I got the impression that Peeta doesn't really exist without Katniss which I did not get from the books. Although I expect Katniss to have a more dominant role, not least because she is the more dominant character, I still thought that there would be lots of emphasis on Peeta's character.
This film is much more exciting than the first film as there are lots of new characters who all bring new plot developments with them. Finnick Odair, played by Sam Claflin, is a really great addition to the cast as he is both funny and serious, not to mention extremely hot! His other films coming out this year include Love, Rosie and The Riot Club, the two films I am most eagerly anticipating this year so I think Sam Claflin will be one to watch!
Catching Fire is a really great film that's actually even better than the first film in this trilogy. It was my favourite book in The Hunger Games book series and it will probably be my favourite in the film adaption too. The plot is a lot more intricate in this instalment with many twists and turns that keep you on your toes. Whether or not you've read the books, this is a must see film, though I would highly recommend watching the first film first so that you truly understand what they are fighting for in part two. This film is very long, lasting almost two and a half hours, but at no point during that time did I feel bored in the slightest. Time passed very quickly and before long the credits were rolling and I still wanted more! Speaking of the ending, Catching Fire ends on a massive cliffhanger so you absolutely must see it before watching the next instalment Mockingjay which comes out in November 2014.
on 12 March 2014
Catching Fire is a great continuation of the Hunger Games franchise, and is very true to the book which can't be said for many Hollywood films which have to skip parts of the books to fit the film into a reasonable length, I felt that Catching Fire was much darker than the first film but it was also much better.
on 22 November 2013
The film is quite long but, in my opinion, very well done. Great efforts were made to follow the book and the result is very satisfying. This is a faithful attempt to recreate the story written by Suzanne Collins. Of course certain small details are changed, but the broad sweep of this cinematic blockbuster is likely to leave no-one but the most pedantic disappointed (and I am usually one of those).
on 22 November 2015
Jennifer Lawrence is back as Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games also starring Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland. A revolution on Panem has begun and Katniss finds herself forced in another tournament called the Quarter Quell. Will the box office odds be ever in the favor of the sequel or will fans disapprove of the adaptation?
Coming off their victory in the 74th annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark must now embark on the traditional promotional visit to each of the twelve districts of Panem which in known as the Victory Tour. This is very tough for Katniss as she has brutal nightmares each night as she sees the murders of her allies sometimes even when she is wide awake. Thinking this is all she has to do to fulfill her obligations to President Snow and the Capitol, Katniss agrees to keep up the charade of being star crossed lovers with Peeta.
One person who is not at all happy with Katniss winning the Hunger Games is President Snow. He sees her as defiant and a symbol of hope to the rebellion. Before the Victory Tour starts, He visits Katniss at her home and gives her an ultimatum, either convince him that her love for Peeta is real and be a good spokesperson for the Capitol, or he will make sure she and her loved ones are eliminated. Reluctantly, Katniss agrees to play along.
Along the Victory Tour, Katniss and Peeta do their best to be obedient spokespersons, but they become first hand witnesses to the terror and fear of the districts as Peacekeeper soldiers publicly flog and execute anyone in defiance to the Capitol. Unfortunately they both have to turn a blind eye to the terror as they fear for their own survival.
To prove President Snow is in control, he sends soldiers and a new Commander into District 12 to teach Katniss’ fellow citizens a lesson of fear. After an act of courage that puts Katniss between the whip of the Commander and a loved one, President Snow decides to play one more trump card up his sleeve and that is to change the treaty charter and initiate a new type of tournament known as the Quarter Quell. To Celebrate the 75th Annual Hunger Games, contestants will now be pulled from a pool of all surviving victors. President Snow feels that if he can’t personally kill her, he’ll do it on TV by people who already know how to kill. Being the only female to ever win from District 12, Katniss is once again forced to fight not only for her life but for the safety of her family and loved ones. Will President Snow do everything in his power to destroy the hope that Katniss symbolizes, or will a secret alliance aide an uprising in the districts against the Capitol?
When I initially saw The Hunger Games, I wasn’t a big fan. It by all means wasn’t a horrible film, but I thought it was an over the top budget ripoff of The Running Man and Battle Royale, plus I felt that I didn’t fit into the film’s age demographic. I understood the social commentary of the film, but I thought other movies such as They Live did a much better job at conveying the concept of governmental fear, media brainwashing, and poverty stricken hope. I recently saw The Starving Games parody movie and everything I thought was absurd with the first movie, was perfectly lampooned in the same style and manner of a Mad Magazine satire. I went into Catching Fire with very low expectations, but left thoroughly entertained by the darker and intense tone of the movie and with a better understanding of the idea the author had for her books. I saw so many similarities to real life in media and government that I felt the movie truly was art imitating life.
I think the first thing that makes the sequel such a better improvement to the first is its change of director. This time around, the story of the girl on fire is told by Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer) who brings to the table his action adventure experience with previous films like I Am Legend and Constantine and pacing and tone from work on music videos. He eliminates a ton of nausea inducing shakey cam. I also thought the movie was better shot and used a better color palette of darker colors to portray the more ominous theme. Even little details like changing the outfits for the Peacekeeper soldiers from from riot gear cops to faceless storm troopers made President Snow’s tyranny more diabolical. The director did a great job with pacing. At almost two and a half hours long, I din’t think the movie at all dragged. The movie wasn’t filled with too much filler as the director cut out a lot of the fluff and focused on a more adult film. The books may be directed at a tween female audience, but the director made Catching Fire to a broader audience.
With Catching Fire allowing more character development, I grew to appreciate and understand the backgrounds even more. In the first movie, Haymitch Abernathy portrayed by Woody Harrelson seemed like a drunk pretty boy, but in the sequel you get the sense, that he and other victors never live down the killings they had to endure. Some have nightmares and post traumatic stress disorder that the only way to numb the pain is through self medication. As with the first movie. I thought Harrelson is once again a standout of the cast.
The sequel also gives the characters a larger sense of maturity. Both Peeta portrayed by Josh Hutcherson and Gale portrayed by Liam Hemsworth have grown up. They both see the larger picture. Hutcherson really improves on the role. He’s not a naive and doe eyed boy as in the first. He’s now a diplomatic young man and gives Katniss a better sense of purpose in the arena. While Hemsworth doesn’t have a lot of screen time as the other characters, one particular scene is a pivotal plot point on why the President institutes the Quarter Quell.
The attitude of the characters is completely changed. This is most evident with Effie Trinket played by Elizabeth Banks. Initially she is a public relations groupie totally infatuated with the lifestyle of the Capital, but as the horrific events that occur during the Victory Tour, even she starts to feel that things just aren’t right.
Other returning actors are Stanley Tucci as Hunger Games play by play announcer Caesar Flickerman and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, Katniss’ fashion designer. Tucci is the absolute brilliant personification of a television talk show celebrity. He is gaudy with his ridiculous colored hair, orange spray tan, and bleached white teeth. Kravitz doesn’t have a lot of screentime, but I enjoyed his performance.
Of course the star of the show is Oscar winner, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. In real life interviews she has expressed how uncomfortable she is with stardom and fame. This makes her absolutely perfect to play Katniss because the humble character just wants to be at home with family, but is violently thrust back into the spotlight. Lawrence has taken the character to a whole new level and made it her own. With movies like Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, X-Men: First Class, and the Hunger Games franchise, Lawrence is proving what a well rounded and versatile young actress she is becoming.
But for all her purity and strength, it wouldn’t even be showcased without the tremendous villains of President Snow played by Donald Sutherland and new games master, Plutarch Heavensbee portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’d compare Sutherland and Hoffman’s characters to that of the Emperor and Darth Vader from Star Wars. I know that analogy may be a bit of a stretch, but the goal of the two is to manipulate the citizens with fear and desperation, yet mask it all with gladiatorial games like Roman Caesars. To me this was another key factor on why I liked the sequel more. You can’t have a fantastic hero to root for unless there is a diabolical villain to despise. Catching Fire has both.
Newcomers to the franchise who I really liked were Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason. Initially Finnick is cocky and arrogant, but you see his heart immediately at the Arena’s cornucopia as he takes care of the elderly tribute from his district. But who I think stole the show was Jana Malone. She not only was gorgeous, but had the best lines in the whole movie. She was defiant and honest, especially in front of the live television audience. She said the things I felt Katniss was afraid to.
My biggest critique of the whole film is the battle arena itself. While I felt the movie did an amazing job elevating the importance of the political tyranny and media brainwashing, the tournament itself still sort of dragged. To best describe the Quarter Quell would be describe it as CBS’s Survivor All-Stars. It should be more intense with champions battling it out. Now to me I would have liked more of the tributes killing each other that is hinted by even Haymitch that these are the best killers in the land. Instead Katniss and her allies must battle against poison mist, sharp toothed baboons, and Alfred Hitchcock’s birds. The tournament bad guys barely had any screentime and most deaths occurred off screen. Most of the time, you only knew there was a death because of the trademarked boom which signaled that a tribute lost their life. For this reasons I still feel Battle Royale does a better job at portraying the contestants’ depravity for survival.
All in all, I feel Catching Fire is such a better film than its predecessor. So much so that as I was writing this review, I had The Hunger Games playing on Netflix to help me compare the two films. I hope it’s not odd to say, but the sequel made the first movie so much better that I noticed more details in the first that now makes the movie a better experience for me. This is normally the problem with trilogies. You can’t just make the judgement on the first movie, because there are two more segments to the story. Catching Fire is a fantastic continuation that now I am actually looking forward to Mockingjay. I only hate that the studio decided to split it into two movies like what Twilight and Harry Potter did with their final books. I hope it wasn’t for financial reasons but to really get indepth with the story. I guess we shall see when the two movies are released in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
While the first movie wasn’t horrible, I wasn’t a big fan of it, so I went into Catching Fire with little expectations. I still feel the first was a bit of an amalgamation of Battle Royale and The Running Man, but Catching Fire does a lot better job at explaining the plight of the districts and who the real enemy is. With the new director at the helm, I felt this movie was more darker and intense that I feel fans of the books will really like. If you are a fan of the books, you will love the sequel. If your opinion of the first was on the fence like mine, then I think you should definitely check it out as it may convert you into appreciating the franchise a lot more.
on 22 November 2013
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the much hyped sequel to last year's The Hunger Games. I, along with everyone else, was extremely excited for this film, as I adored the book and consider the first movie one of my favourites of all time (seriously). I went to see Catching Fire in IMAX to get the full experience and I'm pleased to say that I was far from disappointed. Almost everything about this movie was an improvement on the already brilliant original.
Firstly, the direction from Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend), was much better than the work done by Gary Ross. One of the biggest complaints about the first film was the use of shaky cam by Ross, but there was barely any shaky cam in the sequel. The action sequences were a lot smoother because of it, and the quieter scenes were improved as well. Lawrence has a flair for action movies with a big budget and strong special effects, and I'm so happy he'll be directing the final two movies as well.
The acting remained fantastic, especially from Jennifer Lawrence, who continues to prove herself as one of the most capable actresses working today. Josh Hutcherson did a much better job this time around, as did Liam Hemsworth, even though his screen times was limited. Supporting players Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Jena Malone and Sam Claflin were all stunning as well.
The special effects were vastly improved here. In The Hunger Games, the effects were decent but under par for a blockbuster adaptation. However, in Catching Fire the effects are dazzling and really enhance the movie. Scenes involving rabid baboons and poisonous smoke were breathtaking and terribly tense, and the whole arena was amazing. The scenes involving the victory tour and the training centre were brilliantly done and very exciting. I can understand why the ending might be unsatisfying for some, as it all ends rather abruptly, but I loved everything about this movie and cannot recommend it enough. Even if you weren't a fan of the first one, you should at least give this a go!