Jennifer Lawrence once again captures the hearts of the moviegoers, reprising her role as the fearless bow-and-arrow loving Katniss Everdeen in a generally satisfying follow-up that will for sure leave the fans hungry for even more.  

Ever since their big win at the 74th annual Hungry Games, Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson) – the only couple who have emerged as dual victors of the tournament – are now living lives of luxury amidst the poverty stricken conditions of District 12. Closely followed by the public eye, the two are still settling into their newly-found wealth and are finding it hard to return to the normality of their pre-fame lives.

However, before they have a chance to even try to settle in, they're summoned on a victory tour; an expedition which sees the couple parading across all twelve districts, with the hope of distracting the masses from the day to day struggles that Panem faces.

Unfortunately, the PR stunt cooked up by the ruthless and the oppressive President Snow (Sutherland) backfires, as the couple slowly become a symbol of hope and resistance; an inconvenient development which threatens the hierarchies of the system. In order to avoid a possible revolt, the President, along with the new games director, Plutarch Heavensbee (Seymour Hoffman), decide that the 75th Hunger Games should be made up entirely of all former champions, throwing the couple back into the arena once more.

Despite her rapid rise to stardom, Jennifer Lawrence settles back into her role beautifully. The character of Katniss is given more emotional depth this time round and as her on-screen beau and fellow warrior, Hutcherson is still that sweet boy-next-door, while Sutherland steps up to the mark as the callous dictator.

Other returning faces, which include Harrelson as inebriated mentor, Haymitch, Banks as quirky chaperon, Effie, Tucci as the cheesy TV-host and Kravitz as the eccentric gown designer, all deliver an equally emotional impact in their supporting roles.

Directed by Francis Lawrence, the story is more focused this time around and the balance of the gritty realism embodied in the shattered districts – and the emotional drama within – set against the flashy video-game style arena is incorporated wonderfully.

Unfortunately, the film does have its flaws. The overly long running time stretches the plot quite thinly and although the story does have its wow moments, it does end up feeling a little rushed towards the end; a development that will almost certainly leave fans of the book series a little frustrated.

Failings aside, Hunger Games: Catching Fire manages to deliver an exciting and thrilling viewing experience and has set up high expectations for the next instalment.