Trailer Tuesday: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found trailers to be endlessly fascinating.

We’ve finally gotten our last trailer for Catching Fire, the 2nd film in the Hunger Games trilogy (or quadrilogy, since they’re splitting the final book into two movies, Harry Potter- and Twilight-style).  The film comes out in just a couple weeks, so check out this brief final tease and read on for my comments below:

This trailer is a lot shorter than the previous ones, and mostly filled with clips we’ve seen before.  We get the same dialogue from President Snow asking Katniss if she wants to see a real war, and we see a lot of the same images of the civilian uprisings and general discontent.  There are brief flashes of the mockingjay symbol, which has come to represent both Katniss and the potential rebellion that is brewing.  However, what is more interesting (from a trailer standpoint at least) are the new things we get to see.

Where previous trailers focused entirely on events that take place outside of the 75th Hunger Games arena, this trailer finally gives us a glimpse of both the action to come and the film’s new Hawaiian setting.  It opens with shots of lush jungle as Katniss climbs trees to survey the land.  We get our first look at the center of the arena, which is very significant for those who have read the books, and probably a little odd looking for those who haven’t.

75th Hunger Games Arena

We see Katniss, high in the trees, taking aim with her bow up into the sky, seemingly firing an arrow straight at a camera watching them.

Katniss takes aim

While not in any danger from the arrow, the symbolism of the act is not lost on Snow, who watches on in what I can only presume is cold fury.

Snow is pissed

We get some images from their training, and the events leading up to the Hunger Games.  Last time we got to see Katniss’s mockingjay dress, which is a huge moment from the book, and this time we get to see her and Peeta’s parade entrance including their new fiery costumes and icy stares.

Girl and Boy on Fire

It’s clear that the success of the first film has greatly upped the budget for this sequel, as there are several shots of expansive CG landscapes and futuristic technology.  I would guess that this ship is the one that transports Katniss and Cinna to the arena.

Big Budget

The training area also has gotten a technology upgrade, presumably a result of the film’s budget padding.  I like the look of the training simulations, particularly the way the targets break apart once they’ve been hit.  It makes Katniss look like even more of a badass.

Katniss Training

We get a quick series of clips of action from the arena, including some of the deadly obstacles the Tributes must face.  There’s a quick glimpse of some force tearing through the trees (possibly the wave from the book).

Wave?

Next we’re show the monkey muttations, which look better than the dog muttations from the first film.  I know many fans of the book were upset at how the dog muttations in the first film were portrayed, but it was something that didn’t particularly bother me.  Given the production limitations and the nature of the adaptations, I don’t feel like the film lost anything by not showing that the dogs had the eyes of the dead tributes.  I think it would have been too difficult to convey on film.  This trailer ends with one of the most memorable and haunting scenes from the book, as Katniss and others encounter the jabberjays.  I won’t say any more about it, because I don’t want to spoil anything, but based on Jennifer Lawrence’s reaction the scene should be just as terrifying for our characters in the film.

Katniss and the Jabberjays

What do you think?  Does this last, short trailer get you excited for Catching Fire, which is just a short ways away?  If you’ve read the book, what do you think of the look of the arena?  Is there something specific you’re looking forward to?  Do you think the increased budget will help the film, or will it take away some of the gritty realism and creative filmmaking that was inspired by the first film’s limitations?  Do you wish you didn’t have to wait two more weeks?  Let me know in the comments!

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