First of all, let me admit that I haven’t read any of the Hunger Games books (I totally got them confused with Game of Thrones, and thought “fuck that”). But after getting plastered – and royally stoned – last week, I decided that the first instalment of the saga was the best thing I’d ever seen. The grandeur of the Capitol reminds me of a fierce k hole – what’s not to love? Anyway, I was hell bent on seeing the sequel as soon as possible…

After winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark undergo a Victor’s tour of all twelve districts under the rule of President Snow. As the tour progresses, it seems that the focus of the ‘happy couple’ is less about them being ideal idols and more about the revolt they are about to cause. But Snow isn’t letting them get away that easily, for the Quarter Quell, he calls in  tributes from previous winners (think America’s Next Top Model: All Stars) and expel them into another Jumani-styled game – this time seemingly set on the same island as Lost, and controlled by the creators of Cabin In The Woods. He plans that Katniss will expose herself as someone different while fighting for her life and the sponsors will abandon her.

Unfortunately, the sequel to the ever-popular franchise seems much more like a retread than a continuation (sometimes considered “lazy writing” by saga-enthusiasts), but that doesn’t stop it’s promise from being one of the biggest films of the year. And despite certain elements being a complete copycat from it’s former, (note: Katniss’ flaming dress) – the world of Penum continues to be as mesmerising as we once hoped.

Love triangles remain the most fascinating element for epic teenage dramas, and so it’s only natural that Katniss is still caught between her two lovers – although we feel less attached because she spends next to zero time with Gale Hawthorne. Once again the film leads a stellar class with Jennifer Lawrence putting any other heroine in the past decade to shame, and Woody Harrelson doing the same for alcoholics.

It ends on another cliffhanger (duh), but one much more intriguing than the last, and suggests to audiences that the third part will that much more of a battle than its predecessor. Fans of the movie won’t be disappointed, neither will those of CGI – but has the sequence relied too highly on its intelligent and creative concept than the universal emotion that would have made a deeper connection? Possibly. But there’s plenty of time for that in the next two movies.

Rating: 3.5/5