The fantasy factors of Catching Fire are modestly conceived, embracing the fakery of its digital matte scenery and complementing it with equally garish sets, costumes and makeup. Stanley Tucci's blizzard-white capped teeth as games TV host Caesar Flickerman, Katniss and Peeta's blazing formalwear and Elizabeth Banks' mascara fiascos as their chaperone Effie Trinket leave stronger impressions than CGI hovercraft and force fields.
None of these fantasy elements overshadow the story's grounded sense of humanity, or hinders developing these predicaments. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is movie escapism made with intelligence, and that doesn't come around often enough. As I sensed this movie ending I wished it wouldn't, and when it did I wanted the next one now. Take that, Bilbo.