Live together. Die alone. Kill a bunch of other people to appease your tyrannical government. You know the drill.
The second installment of The Hunger Games film series, Catching Fire, began shooting on Monday. Whereas the first movie set production in North Carolina, Catching Fire will film in Atlanta, Ga., and “the beaches and jungles of Hawaii,” as indicated by a press release from Lionsgate.
You’d think that Hawaii — what with the legion of films and TV series that have opted to shoot there — would be able to conjure up a variety of connotations when it comes to show business: The Descendants, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, that three-part episode of The Brady Bunch. But no blockbuster movie or hit television show will ever rob Hawaii of its association with the most glorious small screen wonder that has ever called America’s fiftieth state its home: Lost.
Just like the life-affirming ABC series, Catching Fire will be filming in the wild lands of Hawaii. The beaches, the jungles… the secret hatches? Just maybe. See, upon making note of this similarity between the two projects, we happened upon a remarkable amount of others. Similarities in characters, in plot points, in gaggles of demonic haze. It makes you wonder: are The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Lost the exact same thing?!
Worst Tropical Paradise Ever
Let’s start with the basics. Both material drops its characters into an ostensibly beautiful setting where you’d otherwise dream of spending your days. But then comes the sort of ordeal that might have inspired the great Jack Donaghy to pioneer the phrase, “I need a vacation from this vacation” — the savagery, betrayal, and inexplicable forces that face Katniss Everdeen’s and Jack Shephard’s teams alike. Speaking of the two heroes, they do seem to be cut from similar cloth. You might be able to wage this argument for any relatable hero set in the heat of a deadly adventure, but it works especially well here. Katniss and Jack are kindred spirits. Reluctant leaders called upon to provide nurturing, guidance, and wisdom, though not always to the greatest results. And don’t even get us started on the love triangles.
Okay, You Can Get Us Started on the Love Triangles
The love triangles is a driving force in these things. You’d think survival and figuring out what the hell is going on with all these crazy animals and tyrannical aristocrats would be top priority, but nope! It’s all about the love. In the arena, you’ve got Katniss/Peeta/Gale. On the island, there’s Jack/Kate/Sawyer. Or Jack/Kate/Juliet… or Jack/Juliet/Sawyer… or Sawyer/Juliet/Kate. Ana Lucia’s in there somewhere. And speaking of Ana Lucia…
Johanna Lucia Mason
The second chapter of The Hunger Games trilogy introduces Johanna Mason, who, for all intents and purposes, is the worst. Everyone hates her, except possibly Katniss, who has this nagging compulsion to “find the good” in people, and even she is skeptical. Over on Lost, there’s Ana Lucia, who is — beyond the perils of uncontrollable time travel and explosions of radioactivity — the worst thing the islanders have to deal with. They’re both rough, tough girls who aren’t afraid to kick ass and would rather be leading the group than playing second fiddle to everyone. Maybe that’s why no one likes them.
Finnick Odesmond (admittedly, that joke doesn’t work as well as the last one)
A poor, unfortunately, impossibly dreamy young man torn from his comfortable life and tossed into an island prison. And worse than all that? He’s got someone at home waiting for him. The love of his life. For Catching Fire, this man is Finnick, who pines for his love Annie. On Lost, we have Desmond, whose life mission is to return to his beloved Penny. Whereas Finnick survived via the camaraderie of a crossbow, Demond did so by pressing a computer key every one hundred and eight minutes.
“We Have to Go Back.”
You think that when you finally make your way out of this place, it’s for good. You think that once you’re off this forsaken beach, things will finally go back to normal. Well, you’re wrong. When Katniss and crew get “rescued” from the Hunger Games towards the end of Catching Fire, things ain’t so dandy on the outside. And they do, in fact, need to go back to rescue those left behind. Same on Lost. Fans will recall what premature relocation did to its favorite character: Hurley’s hallucinations, Jin and Sun’s marital problems, Jack’s beard. Not to mention all the people who also got left behind. Poor Peeta. Poor Vincent.
Killer Monkeys Vs. Polar Bears
Granted, monkeys and polar bears are not exactly brethren, but they’re both oddly displaced wild animals who have turned into vengeful beasts thanks to the horrors of this manic lands in Catching Fire and Lost, respectively. Plus, neither of these elements ever really gets fully explained…
Both have ’em!
And finally: the Smoke Monster
Even if none of the above descriptions convinced you (although how can you really argue against the helicopter thing?) this should take the cake. Both Catching Fire and Lost have a smoke monster. (Well, in Catching Fire it’s more like a deadly mist, but what is mist if not pale smoke?) You can’t really say that for many other works of fiction, can you? Maybe one or two, but that’s it.
So as you can see, Catching Fire and Lost are one and the same. Island fans, this could be the big screen incarnation we’ve always kind of dreamed of. And Catching Fire fans… well, it’s Catching Fire. So you should probably like it.
[Photo Credit: Lionsgate]