I know this is usually the spot for Monday Cute, but guys the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer is really smart.
Come, behind the jump to hear me ramble about how freakin’ smart this trailer is, in a world where every action movie trailer has to include shots from all the action sequences.
Right, so later on in this ramble there will be some book spoilers, so if you’re not prepared for that I suggest you don’t volunteer as tribute. Thank you, Catching Fire trailer, for only featuring the first half of the movie in your trailer and for merely hinting, rather then firmly establishing, what’s going to come after. Though some will undoubtedly complain that there’s nothing new in this trailer, i.e., that we don’t get to see Sam Claflin as Finnick or Jenna Malone as Joanna. But I’m here to do the opposite.
You, as the second part in this tripartite story (even though they split the third into two movies, it’s still a tripartite, they did that for money, not storytelling), were always going to suffer the double burden of gathering up all the lose ends from the first part and feeding them, in a natural way, into the conclusion while at the same time trying to tell a complete story of your own. The filmmaking challenge in adapting you was always going to be the amount of time that the first part of Catching Fire has to spend laying the groundwork for Mockingjay before it actually ramps up into what a lot of people label as the “real” story of Catching Fire, the Quell, a special anniversary Hunger Games that involves two past winning tributes from each District.
Lets face it, another arena battle to the death is a much more cinematically interesting spectacle than the equally or more important machinations of the different groups who all want to strip down, alter, and use Katniss’ image for their various ideologies regardless of what she actually wants. Which is why it’s so, so great that the folks behind this film are managing audience expectations by delivering not the most actiony parts of their movie in the trailer, but the most ominous, the most plot important, and the most thematically important. They’re never going to be able to keep the Quarter Quell a secret from moviegoers, not with all the noise they made over the casting of the Tributes, but if their aim in trailers is to hide the action there from viewers while establishing that the political intrigue of the movie is really important, that’s going to have the double effect of getting folks to salivate over what might happen in the Quell and get them ready to sit through a bunch of talky-emotional stuff first. Lest we forget, the Hunger Games themselves are merely a distraction put on by the Capitol.