Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language.
The sequel to last year’s smash-hit The Hunger Games is every bit as violent and suspenseful as its predecessor. But this time, there’s an even greater sense of dread as a bloody revolution is sweeping the districts of dystopian Panem. The full force of the totalitarian regime against which the masses are rebelling also feels clearer — and more frightening — than in the original film. At its center is Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, the co-victor of the last Hunger Games who must fight for her life once more. At its core, all of these films based on the Suzanne Collins novels are about young people being forced into an elaborate and sadistic competition in which they must kill each other for the greater good of their people. It’s a heady and disturbing concept. As executed here, it’s often a bloody and gruesome one, as well. Older kids only – anyone younger than Katniss’ little sister, Prim, should probably wait a bit longer to enter the arena.