How high are the stakes in the "Hunger Games" sequel? As David Bowie once sang, "It's no game."
Hot on the heels of the Lionsgate panel at the San Diego Comic-Con comes the official second trailer to one of the upcoming holiday season's most anticipated releases, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." It's a remarkable improvement over the first trailer, which failed to distinguish this bigger and much darker story from the first movie — indeed, until today, "Catching Fire" looked exactly like "The Hunger Games," except now with Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The new trailer is Katniss-centric, as we open with her embracing her little sister Primrose (whom is apparently finally too old to be referred to as "Little Duck") before she's plunged into the whirlwind that is the Victory Tour across Panem, where she and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson, seemingly reduced to a mere sidekick) become a symbol of the People's Revolution ("The Odds Are Never in Our Favor" reads a piece of graffiti spotted out a train window). The champions are then forced to participate in the Third Quarter Quell, which pits them against previous victors — all, indeed, "experienced killers," as Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) points out.
The trailer does a great job of giving key supporting players at least one fleeting moment, as we're treated to appearances by Effie (Elizabeth Banks), Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and Finnick (Sam Claflin) … and one rather awkward close-up of an open-mouthed Caesar (Stanley Tucci). President Snow (Donald Sutherland) gets to deliver one ominous speech, though Lionsgate knows who the real star of the show is: Jennifer Lawrence, who gets to run the gamut of emotions (and physical acts of derring-do) in only two and a half minutes.
Check out the trailer above, courtesy of Yahoo! Movies. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" hits theaters on November 22.