Watch The Hunger Games 2 Online Free (2013) or Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Now. Science-fiction is one of my all-time favourite genres for many reasons, not the least of which is its ability to speak allegorically on current issues. Because of its phantastycke setting, far-removed from our own reality, sci-fi is able to get away with social and political commentary (among other things) in a way that non-speculative fiction can’t without coming off as pandering, condescending, and/or way too obviously on-the-nose (see 2004’s Crash for a great example of this). In the late sixties, for example, the TV series Star Trek, which was essentially a space western (series creator Gene Roddenberry sold it to the network as a “Wagon Train to the Stars”), was able to tackle such hot-button current issues such as racism and civil rights, the Vietnam War, and drug culture in ways that would have never made it past NBC’s censors had the show been set in the here-and-now. And in the 21st century, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, brought to the silver screen as a quadrilogy by Lionsgate, is able to tell a radical socialist parable in a way that goes down smoothly, even for the most hardcore of libertarian conservatives.
Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Free (2013) or Watch The Hunger Games 2 Online Now. The nation of Panem, in which these stories take place, represents everything wrong with American society today, taken to an extreme (or as some might call it, a logical and inevitable conclusion). I would imagine that it’s no accident that Panem’s borders occupy the same geographical space as America. It’s almost as if Collins has imagined what our country may look like in a few hundred years if things don’t change, and then gave it a different name to make it more palatable.
(2013) or Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Now. The sins of both societies are many, but one of the biggest on the list is income inequality, which at current levels in the United States is the worst it’s been since the Gilded Age. In Panem, it’s worse even than that, with the spoiled citizens of the Capitol living in the lap of luxury while the people of the outlying districts starve to death, all while slaving away just to make the lives of the Capitol citizens easier. In places like District 12, people scrap and scramble just to get something, anything in their bellies. In the Capitol, worthless socialites gorge themselves on sweets and then drink special potions to make them vomit it all up, just so they can do it all over again.
Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Free (2013) or Watch The Hunger Games 2 Online Now. This is the essence of the 1%, feasting like leeches on the broken backs of the 99%. The bloodsucking dictator, President (in name only) Snow keeps the masses in line through a mixture of fear and entertainment: jackbooted “peacekeepers” terrorize the local populaces through a brutal type of martial law that includes public floggings and random executions, while the titular Hunger Games are analogous to the gladiatorial games of Ancient Rome; “bread and circuses” that distract the populace from the daily grind of their lives, while the various tributes who compete in the Games every year are rock stars. When they aren’t competing, they’re allowed to live in a state of comfort just a little bit below the luxury level of the Capitol. When they return to their home districts, they stay in “Victor’s Villages,” which are far more comfortable than the shanty towns and drafty shacks the rest of the people are reduced to living in. This combination of victory and wealth, potentially dispensed on two lucky champions every year, gives their home districts the illusions of hope, choice, and control—three things that have been taken away from them. And so they remain placated, just this side of revolution.
(2013) or Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Now. Sound familiar? It should. How many in our own country have fallen into ruin while chasing the myth of the “American dream,” a smoke-and-mirrors game designed to give the illusion that anyone who works hard can make it in this nation, when the reality is that the only way to get rich anymore is to be born that way? Sure, a few people here and there seem to disprove that—the kid who goes from obscurity to stardom on American Idol perhaps, or maybe the athletic prodigy born into poverty who manages to make it big in the pro leagues. But like the tributes of Panem, these are one-in-a-million shots who fool the rest of us into thinking we could be the one who becomes a star, or wins the lottery, or moves to Hollywood and writes that million-dollar script. Yeah, somebody will do those things, but it probably won’t be you or me, because as the graffiti scrawled on the concrete barriers of District 11 says, “The odds are never in our favor.”
Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Free (2013) or Watch The Hunger Games 2 Online Now. As the middle class is squeezed into obscurity, we progress further and further towards a new type of neo-feudalism in which most of us are little more than serfs who work the sprawling fields of the fortunate few. Don’t believe me? Just take a look around. Look at the millions of working poor who toil away for hours on end at McDonalds or Wal-Mart, yet can’t even afford to make rent. Look at the ever-expanding, quicksand-filled sinkholes of poverty all around this country. Look at the urban food deserts where life expectancy is spiraling downwards. Look at the unemployment rates. Just open your eyes.
(2013) or Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Now. A consistent sign throughout history of once-great empires falling into decline is how the poor and marginalized are treated. When the “least of these” are treated like chattel, it’s a sure sign that society is crumbling. It happened in the last days of the Roman and British Empires, and it’s happening now in America (although in a sense, it’s always happened in America, as this country was built on a foundation of genocide and slavery). This is not lost upon the filmmakers, and the production and costume design reflect this brilliantly. The architecture of the Capitol, more so than in the first film, is evocative of the last days of the Roman Empire, and the costume design of the wealthy Capitol citizens resembles a sort of retro-futuristic Victorian fashion. President Snow lives in a mansion that resembles nothing so much as an Old Southern plantation home, clearly symbolic of that (seemingly) short-lived empire that has quietly risen to prominence again in the hidden back channels of political and economic power here in America.
Download TThe Hunger Games 2 Movie Free (2013) or Watch The Hunger Games 2 Online Now. So we’ve established that The Hunger Games is very, very political, and very important in terms of message. But that doesn’t necessarily a good movie make—earlier this year, The Purge hit a lot of similar notes, but was almost universally panned by critics (I gave it a pass mostly based on its politics). Does Catching Fire fare better? You bet your ass it does. Just as the movie ramps up the metaphor from the previous installment, showing new depths of opulence in the Capitol and poverty in the Districts, as well as new levels of brutality at the hands of the Peacekeepers, the entertainment value of the film has also been taken to the next level. Last year’s Hunger Games was good, but it didn’t exactly rock my world. As I recall, it fell somewhere in the middle of my list for 2012 (to be fair, last year was a really good movie year). But with little more than a month to go until the end of 2013, Catching Fire is still in my top five. Everything about it is bigger and better than the first film. Just like a good sequel should, it significantly expands the scope of the world and raises the stakes. It’s also more cinematic, with new director Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend) eschewing Gary Ross’ cinema vérité aesthetic from the first film (which, don’t get me wrong, worked quite well for the more intimate context that framed it) in favour of big, sweeping camera moves and the “movie-movie” quality of a sprawling epic. It’s more appropriate, I think, for the bigger story that’s being told here—a story that’s about to get a lot bigger in the next two films.
(2013) or Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Now. A lot of movies lose the personal connection when they go bigger in terms of scope and plot, but if anything, I felt more connected to the characters this time around—more invested in their lives and fates, I mean. I didn’t really care what happened to Katniss and Peeta last year—but now I can’t wait to see what happens next (I might have to finally catch up on the books before the next movie comes out). Part of that has to do with how well the movie builds the emotion—better even than the action, I’d say—I certainly got misty-eyed on at least one occasion, and I was on the edge of my seat during the action sequences—not because of how well they were shot, but because I cared about the people who were involved.
Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Free (2013) or Watch The Hunger Games 2 Online Now. Of course, the protagonist—Katniss Everdeen—is just such a fantastic character that you can’t help but care what happens to her, and to her friends and family by extension. It goes without saying that she’s a positive female role model in an art form where those kinds of representations are unfortunately few and far between. She’s a tough, strong, powerful woman who isn’t defined by the men in her life. Sure, she has two guys competing for her attention, but it’s presented almost an afterthought—what defines Katniss first and foremost is survival. Unlike other young-adult fictional heroes, Katniss isn’t some “chosen one.” She isn’t the fulfillment of a prophecy, or a messianic figure destined to save the world. She’s just a regular girl who keeps her head down and tries to do the right thing. She makes tough choices that aren’t always the right or moral ones. Sometimes she makes big mistakes that might even get people killed. This is because she’s flawed—because she’s just a kid who’s been thrust into a situation that’s much bigger than she is. She’s practically minded—not living her life for grand ideals but focused rather on just making it to the next day alive, trying to navigate the constant nightmares and the post-traumatic stress. She represents the downtrodden and the disaffected. She’s the name and face of the nameless and faceless teeming huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. This isn’t a a choice for her—she’s appropriated as a symbol by forces outside of her control, caught between oppression and revolution. In short, she’s an ordinary person caught up in an extraordinary situation, and so we feel like her struggle is our struggle. Don’t misunderstand me—Katniss isn’t some blank slate of a Mary Sue that girls can simply project themselves on—she’s a fully developed character who just happens to be someone we can all relate to. And that’s a fundamentally important distinction.
(2013) or Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Now. Played by the incomparable Jennifer Lawrence, Katniss is once again surrounded by a uniquely appealing supporting cast. The standouts from the previous film return; Stanley Tucci is once again darkly hilarious as Caesar Flickerman, the shallow propaganda puppet of the Capitol. Woody Harrelson is back, engaging and compelling as the alcoholic former tribute, Haymitch, and Elizabeth Banks shines as Effie, whose extravagant clothes, hair, and makeup masks the pain underneath. This time around, they’re joined by a host of former Tributes, competing in an All-Star version of the Hunger Games (known as the Quarter Quell, since it happens every 25 years). I particularly enjoyed Jenna Malone as the spunky, sassy, and sexy Johanna, a former champion who is mad as hell about having to compete again. Amanda Plummer and Jeffrey Wright are a lot of fun as a couple of techies (Wright’s character is nicknamed “Volts,” because he won his previous Hunger Games by electrocuting all the other tributes at once), and Sam Claflin exudes pathos as Fennick Odair, whose brash exterior swagger hides a great deal of woundedness underneath. Lending the film further gravitas, pedigree, and an even greater sense of artistic verisimilitude is newcomer Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the new Gamemaster. Donald Sutherland is delightfully and wickedly cold as President Snow, and Thor’s little brother, Liam Hemsworth, has more to do this time around as Gale Hawthorne.
Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Free (2013) or Watch The Hunger Games 2 Online Now. I haven’t really mentioned Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, because it’s kind of a thankless role. Honestly, Peeta doesn’t have that much to do other than pine after Katniss. Other than that, there really isn’t a lot to distinguish him from the other characters. I’m sure there are some hardcore fans of the books who will want to correct me on that, but as someone who’s only seen the movies, that’s how it seemed to me. But as for Hutcherson himself, I’ve been a fan of his ever since I saw him in Detention last year, and he’s fine in the role.
Watch The Hunger Games 2 Online Free (2013) or Download The Hunger Games 2 Movie Now. Ultimately, the biggest star of The Hunger Games is the story and the setting—a sci-fi parable that spins a powerful allegory about the world we live in. Catching Fire does what the best kind of art does best of all—delivers a gripping story that also subverts and teaches us something we may not have even known we were being taught at the time. Hopefully, both these books and movies will stand the test of time as modern sci-fi classics of our era.