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by Jess Kroll

In many cases the second film of a trilogy is either the best or the worst. Given the freedom of one success, the creators either expand the world, raise the ambition and stakes and deepen the characters, or too closely mimic the original into unnecessary parody or completely forget what made the original enjoyable in the first place.

Although it’s part two of four, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the franchise’s Empire Strikes Back. And if that sounds like a good thing, it is. Boy, is it ever.

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