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Non-Review Review: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire suffers from a problem comic to the second story in planned trilogies. It lacks its own clear arc or structure, instead serving as a little more (or perhaps a little less) than half a film. There’s no conclusion or resolution here, just a lot dangling plot threads and insinuations – the suggestion of a larger and grander conflict looming on the horizon that might offer some measure of closure.

While it improves on quite a few flaws from the first film, it ultimately feels rather hollow; like an extended trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

Hungry for more?

Hungry for more?

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Non-Review Review: Epic

Epic looks stunning. While it doesn’t necessarily push the envelope in terms of 3D rendering or animation, it’s often quite beautiful to watch. Even in 3D, the vibrant greens radiate off the screen, with the characters having a pleasant elasticity to them. The action sequences are well-staged and the choreography is generally impressive. However, despite this, Epic winds up feeling rather shallow. Perhaps it’s a result of the decision to develop the world as a priority, rather than the characters inhabiting it.

The story is more a collection of familiar tropes and set-pieces than a compelling narrative, and none of the lead characters are ever developed beyond basic archetypes. There’s the plucky heroine, the roguish hero, the gruff mentor, the free-spirited wise oracle, the drôle accented bad guy, the comic relief and even the kooky dad. None feel of any real substance, which is a problem when you’re executing a plot as straight-forward as this.

It's a slug's life...

It’s a slug’s life…

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