The 75th Hunger Games (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
While the first Hunger Games movie was a more-than-solid young adult action film, its sequel, Catching Fire is a marked improvement in almost every way. Director Francis Lawrence took what Hunger Games director Gary Ross built with the first film and expanded and refined its story, characters, and action. In some ways, Catching Fire is almost a remake of The Hunger Games, only with a better cast and a bigger budget. It’s the Evil Dead 2 of the Hunger Games franchise.
Having shot the film completely in glorious IMAX, director Francis Lawrence raises the stakes of the world of Panem, not only in a tournament to kill all of its Tributes, but rather to save the life of the film series’ central protagonist Katniss Everdeen. When Everdeen is confronted with the task of electrocuting the Tributes, she harness Beetee’s electrical coil and attaches it to her trusty bow & arrow. Everdeen then climbs a tree to shoot the arena’s moon with an electric wallop. The end result is the arena collapsing on live TV before all of Panem, with its citizens witnessing Katniss’ insolence. It’s an epic ending to an epic year in science fiction.