Catching Fire (advertised as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) is the second film in the Hunger Games series.Months after the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) struggles to cope with the trauma of the arena. Shortly before the Victory Tour, where the victor tours the twelves districts of Panem, she is brought before President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who informs her that her act of defiance in the games has inspired the districts to rebel.She is then ordered to help pacify the districts by convincing them that her love for fellow victor Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is genuine, but when she fails, only cementing her as a symbol of defiance, Snow and the new Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) makes preparations for the Third Quarter Quell, which is a special edition of the Hunger Games held every 25 years with a twist in the rules. This year, the Tributes can only be reaped from the existing pool of victors: Katniss is being forced back into the arena...
This film provides examples of:
Adaptational Badass: More of a scene than a particular person, but Katniss' marksmen session during training is described as her just hitting a bunch of clay pigeons in quick succession. In the movie she faces holograms who try to attack her. She dodges each one's attack while hitting each one at the same time.
Peeta. In the book, the only time we hear of him physically exerting himself is when he fights off the monkey mutts with Katniss and Finnick, and he still is saved by the morphling. He says he killed Brutus in the third book, but in this one, he can't even get off his platform until Finnick goes off and gets him, and spends most of the Games recovering from hitting the force field, or too clunky to help because of his artificial leg. The movie drops his artificial leg and instead of Finnick finding him on his platform, he's in the water, fighting with another tribute, overpowering him and drowning him. He gets the second on-screen kill in the Games.
Haymitch's experiences during the Second Quarter Quell.
Bonnie and Twill, the refugees from District 8 that Katniss meets and tell their theory that District 13 still exists.
The subplot of theorizing that District 13 exists is also dropped, with 13 having only one mention early in the film.
Katniss getting trapped behind the now-electrified perimeter fence was dropped.
Katniss seeing the news about District 8 has been moved from the Mayor's house to a communications station on the train.
Peeta's lie about Katniss being pregnant in order to gain sympathy is kept in, but is just played as a last-ditch attempt to cancel the games and is never brought up again after the interview. In the book, Finnick mentions it multiple times in the arena.
Katniss' score of 12 is dropped, probably to not ensure repeats of too many scenes from the first film.
Cecelia getting reaped and saying goodbye to her children was dropped.
Katniss and Peeta do not begin researching the past victors after the Quarter Quell is announced.
But to make up for this, there is a scene of Haymitch briefly telling them about some of the victors while watching video of the reapings.
Big Bad: President Snow. Though he arguably has a more hands on role this time around.
Big Brother Is Watching: This Police State aspect of Panem is expanded on. Snow shows Katniss that cameras caught her kiss with Gale outside the fence, as a reminder he can see everything she does and if she doesn't play along her loved ones will be killed.
Big Eater: Every Capitol citizen is this at parties, which feature far more food than anyone could hope to eat, or even sample. When they get full, they drink emetic fluids to induce vomiting, so they can continue eating. Peeta is disgusted by this.
"People are starving in 12. Here they're just...throwing it up so they can stuff more in."
Bloodless Carnage: Due to the stringencies of the PG-13 rating, except for a specific handful of scenes (such as Gale's flogging and Cinna's beating), the film is almost totally devoid of blood; this is most jarring when the District 11 man is executed offscreen but his body is shown being carried away, with no visible exit wound or blood on the ground from having just been shot point blank in the skull.
Blood from the Mouth: During the Victory Ball, President Snow drinks some wine, and afterwards his glass is full of blood.
Book Ends: The Quarter Quell begins and ends with Katniss emotionally distraught, but quickly steeling herself for the fight ahead.
Johanna: The deal was that if I win the Hunger Games, I get to live the rest of my life in peace, but now you want to kill me again. Well, you know what? [beep] THAT! AND [beep] ANYONE THAT HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT!
Fog of Doom: Touch it and your skin will rapidly burn and blister, but it washes right off if you can get out of it, which is characteristic of a contact toxin.
But it killed Mags almost instantly when she entered it, so it is probably much more deadly if actually inhaled.
Foreshadowing: Katniss attempts to shoot the forcefield early in the games. Come the climax...
There's also several very important pieces of foreshadowing for Mockingjay, including President Snow's granddaughter and his bloody mouth ulcers.
Forced to Watch: After the (glass) doors to Katniss' launch tubes close, the tube remains in place long enough for her to watch Cinna being beaten down and dragged away by Peacekeepers, all while trying to claw her way out of the launch tube.
Gadgeteer Genius: Beetee. He is responsible for many of the technological advances in Panem, and invented the wire used in the arena.
Gory Discretion Shot: Interestingly played with—during the Games, violence is shown pretty explicitly, but when the Peacekeepers publicly execute the man who saluted Katniss in District 11, all we see is the flash of the gunshot as the doors to the building quickly close.
Held Gaze: Katniss and Peeta, before she leaves with Joanna.
Heroes Want Redheads: The casting of red-headed Stef Dawson as Annie Cresta makes her the redhead to Finnick's Hero.
Heroic Sacrifice: Sure, it's pretty obvious that Mags has exactly zero chance of surviving the Third Quarter Quell. Still, there's something to be said for going out on your own terms.
Mags volunteering for Annie in the first place could be seen as a Heroic Sacrifice as well, since she likely knew her chances of getting out of the arena alive were nil.
In a much more subtle way, Cinna. True, he doesn't exactly go down in a blaze of glory, but making the wedding dress Snow specifically ordered, only to have it burn away and reveal the Mockingjay dress, a human-sized symbol of the rebellion, on live national broadcast? He couldn't possibly have thought he was going to avoid a backlash, almost definitely lethal, but he did it anyway as his part of sowing the seeds against the Capitol.
The female Morphling for Peeta. He even muses that it seemed like a sacrifice, which is the first clue to him and Katniss that something weird is going on.
Hidden Depths: Effie starts to genuinely care about Katniss and Peeta and grows upset by the prospect of their deaths.
Hoist by His Own Petard: President Snow is so focused on keeping Katniss under thumb (and ultimately discrediting her) that he cannot see the huge conspiracy going on right under his nose until it's already outwitted him.
Hope Spot: Katniss' budding romance with Peeta was the one thing in the movie keeping her from going over the edge. It's one long extended Hope Spot showing, that in all of this despair, she has one person capable of keeping her grounded. All this naturally builds up so that it makes the blow that Peeta didn't get rescued with Katniss even harder.
It's All About Me: Effie. As she's escorting Katniss and Peeta to the Presidential Palace, she's obviously seeing this as her moment. She does get better by the Quarter Quell, though.
Kick the Dog: After being chosen for the Quarter Quell, Katniss and Peeta are dragged off immediately with no chance for goodbyes. There's also the Forced to Watch bit for Katniss.
Kubrick Stare: Katniss gets one during the countdown to the start of the Quarter Quell.
La Résistance: This movie shows an organized rebel movement for the first time. It's based in District 13. Haymitch and Plutarch Heavensbee are its point men, and several of the victors/tributes in the Quarter Quell are operatives with one goal: to jailbreak Katniss and get her to 13.
Large Ham: Even though he's got less screentime, Caesar Flickerman's reaction to Peeta's proposal to Katniss (while standing beside Katniss) is priceless.
Love Triangle: This movie ups the drama between Katniss, Peeta and Gale.
Madness Mantra: "Tick tock, tick tock..." In this case, it's brought on by dehydration and provides a vital clue about the arena trap system. When Wiress' throat is cut, her silence immediately warns the other tributes the Careers are attacking.
Messianic Archetype: Katniss. During her removal from the Arena, the light from the collapsing ceiling initially centers on her, and her arms are stretched out as she is lifted into the sky. Plenty of symbolism there.
Mr. Fanservice: Finnick, good God, both in-universe and out-of-universe.
Speaking of not minding, in an interview, Jenna Malone explained that they were filming in a hotel elevator. One "lucky gentleman" with a cup of coffee walked into the elevator in which this scene was being filmed while Jenna was stripping.
Never Trust a Trailer: According to one of the trailers, Katniss says 'Go ahead' to the new Head Peacekeeper Thread when he points a gun at her for stepping in during Gale's whipping. In the film, Katniss says this when he threatens to use the whip on her again, to which the gun is the response.
Also, Snow's reaction to seeing the Mockingjay dress in the trailer is actually used when Katniss is about to shoot Finnick.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the opening moments of the Quarter Quell, another tribute pulls Peeta underwater. Peeta manages to kill him with his bare hands. Particularly impressive given that the tribute would have been an "all experienced killer."
Offstage Villainy: The destruction of District 12 is only described by Gale but not explicitly shown.
Haymitch does this after Peeta donates a portion of he and Katniss's winnings to the families of fallen tributes in District 11.
Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch have this reaction when the special rule for the Third Quarter Quell is announced. Katniss runs into the woods and Haymitch throws a bottle at the hologram.
He tries to hide it, but it's pretty obvious this is Caesar Flickerman's reaction as he gradually loses control of the pre-Games interview, culminating with all twenty-four tributes holding hands in solidarity.
President Snow when Katniss destroys the arena, obviously, but a couple of much subtler ones when he sees that his own granddaughter is becoming more and more enamored with Katniss.
Katniss also gets one at the beginning of the film. After returning from hunting, her mother and Prim cheerfully ask how her walk was. Just before she corrects them, a pair of black-suited men show up, letting Katniss know that she's in trouble.
Recognizable By Sound: In both the book and film versions, both Katniss and Finnick hear the sounds of their loved ones and run toward them. It turned out to be mockingjays, not their actual relatives, leading to their being trapped.
Reverse Mole: Plutarch, Haymitch, Finnick, Johanna, and several of the other tributes were all operatives of District 13.
Secret Test of Character: This is the idea for putting Katniss back in the games. By forcing her into a situation where she has to ally with others to survive, then ultimately betray them when it comes down to it, her status as a symbol of hope will be trampled. What Snow doesn't realize is that the opposite is true: when it comes down to it, Katniss gives up an opportunity to kill one of her allies after he uses a phrase Haymitch used, thus further cementing her position.
Sequel Escalation: The film sequel has grander sets, better CGI, and, most importantly, more tension and grittier drama.
Shameless Fanservice Girl: Johanna Mason strips off her skin-tight ensemble until she's naked to the toes, right in front of Haymitch, Peeta, and Katniss inside of a moving elevator without so much as a fumble. She then proceeds to stand there with a smug look, facing the trio as the elevator makes its way to her floor.
Stepford Smiler: Katniss when parading her 'wedding' dress. Also, Katniss and Peeta during the Victory Tour, to show that they're happy and in love victors who are not trying to provoke rebellion.
This Cannot Be!: President Snow's reaction when Katniss manages to shut down the whole Arena.
Snow: That's not possible.
Throwing Out The Script: During their tour stop at District 11, Peeta ditches his prepared speech to praise the dead tributes, with Katniss joining in after. When the Peacekeepers execute an old man for showing his support, they stick to the cards for the rest of the stops.
Villainous Breakdown: Very, very subtle. But from the moment Katniss refuses to shoot Finnick, to realizing that he's been betrayed by Plutarch, President Snow spends the climax in a near-constant state of Oh Crap.
Villains Out Shopping: Even presidents need to eat, as Snow enjoys a cup of tea and having breakfast with his granddaughter.
What the Hell, Hero?: Haymitch gives one to Katniss after the rules for the Third Quarter Quell are announced, on how Peeta came to him right away begging for a way to save her; but she only showed up forty-five minutes later.
Haymitch: You could live a hundred lifetimes and never deserve that boy.