In much the same way as fans of a book worry about the results when their favorite tome is adapted for the big screen, cinephiles shudder and cringe at the concept of a beloved flick being fitted with a follow-up. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has successfully conquered one of those challenges, but, as the sequel to The Hunger Games makes its way to theaters, how will Catching Fire fare?
Let’s take a look at some fantastic film with follow-ups that suffered the sequel slump.
Hannibal, 2001’s sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, 1991’s smash hit. In addition to missing Jody Foster—although Julianne Moore did fine in her stead—this second act missed a lot of the dark games and left fans to hunger for more emotional chemistry between FBI agent Clarice Starling and Dr. Hannibal Lecter, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins. Surely the second Hunger Games film won’t suffer the same fate, right?
Riddick, the third flick in a trilogy by the same name. While The Chronicles of Riddick was no work of art, it at least broke new ground after Pitch Black. Chronicles went in a bold, daring direction with an eye-catching visual scope. The third film was just a retread of the first; the main character is under fire on an barren planet, staving off an adversary with the last name Johns and uniting a group that fears and hates him against terrible aliens while flirting with a hot blond with big boobs. We won’t see the same mediocrity from Catching Fire, will we?
Highlander II: The Quickening was miserable and pretty much just set the charm of the original on fire. For starters, it toyed with the concept and continuity of the first movie: the immortals are now an alien race! Hopefully the person responsible for that detail is still catching hell for it. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire could never aspire to such lows.
Movie fans hunger for satisfying sequels; you don’t play games with their favorite flicks. Fortunately, for fans still catching up, the buzz for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is doing just that: catching fire. While there is generally an embargo on releasing reviews prior to the film’s premiere, all the results shown on Rotten Tomatoes offer promise: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is sitting pretty at 95 percent fresh right now.