Katniss' second serving is a scorcher

Katniss' second serving is a scorcher
THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE: The heat is on for Hunger Games tribute Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who is sent for another round of the deadly contest when her nation's leader fears her sparking a revolution.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (PG13)

Action/146 minutes

Rating: 4/5

BELLA who?

Indeed, compared with the often one-dimensional leading lady in another popular teen-geared, book-based movie franchise, Twilight, The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen is a force of nature.

Now, the spunky character that catapulted Hollywood It Girl Jennifer Lawrence, 23, to international superstardom last year is back in this sequel.

But forget all the comparisons to the Kristen Stewart-starring vampire flicks - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is in a league of its own, showing a marked improvement from the first film.

The Hunger Games is based on the best-selling book trilogy by American novelist Suzanne Collins.

Thanks to its all-star cast, gripping story and well-executed effects, the movie is infinitely entertaining - whether one has read the books or not.

In this instalment, heroine Katniss is still reeling from the death and destruction she both faced and inflicted in the Games, which pits youngsters, or tributes, against each other in a fight to the death.

Still, she must fulfil her obligations, post-win. These include leaving behind best friend/love interest Gale (Liam Hemsworth) to go on a victory tour with fellow tribute Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), with whom she has curated a faux, albeit convincing, romantic relationship.

But the dystopian city of Panem is on the cusp of a revolution, and Katniss is poised to be its leader. She lends hope to a nation without it, much to the chagrin of President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland).

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