The Hunger Games return with such a sequel twist that you can't believe writer Suzanne Collins didn't think of film when writing. Catching Fire builds up with all types of subversive messaging which is interesting but also brings into relief the limitations of the genre and film.
I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my mule don't like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.
A Man With No Name finds a well and grabs a drink. As he drinks he sees a child run out of a building to another building across the street. He runs inside, cries, and is chased out with bullets at his feet. He runs to his father. The gang notice the Man drinking and back off from the family. The Man rides his horse into town and is stopped by the Baxter family. They antagonize him and scare his mule. He grabs a sign holder to stop. He heads inside. Silvanito gives him some food and drink for free. The Man heads outside onto the balcony getting a sense of the power struggle in town.
He heads back to the Baxters that scared his mule and shoots the four of them dead. Then he goes to the Rojo family to enlist. Don Miguel Benito Rojo pays the Man $100 and gives him a room in the compound. The Man is escorted to the room but slips out when he hears Esteban and Don Miguel arguing. Esteban wants to shoot the Man in the back and Don Miguel insists be friendly until Ramon Rojo comes back. The Man slinks back into his room ready to leave by the time Esteban enters.
The Man sleeps at Silvanito's cantina. In the morning they see a carriage surrounded by guards come into town. The Man tries to get a closer look but gets a gun in his face. They follow the carriage to an exchange of gold for weapons. Once the gold is on the ground, Ramon fires a chain gun at all the guards from a nearby carriage. Afterwords they arrange the bodies so it looks like they killed each other and they take the gold. Later the Man meets Ramon at the Rojo compound. Ramon speaks of peace and has invited the Baxters to come over later. The Man gives back the majority of the $100 back and leaves to the cantina. He and Silvanito take two bodies from the massacre while the Baxters are at the Rojo compound. The Man sets up the bodies in the graveyard against a gravestone. Later the Man sneaks into the Baxter house and provides info about the two men at the graveyard for $500. He also goes to Ramon and tells him that two of the guards survived and are at the graveyard. The two groups converge and shoot at each other with some losses on each side. Eventually Ramon shoots the two bodies thus becoming convinced they are dead.
Meanwhile the Man infiltrates the Rojo compound. He takes the one guard out with a window suspended by ropes. He rummages through the wine cellar and finds the gold in an empty barrel. Marisol investigates and gets knocked out by the Man. He carries her out and sneaks back to the Baxter house. The Baxters plan to exchange Marisol for Antonio and give the Man a stack of money.
In the morning the exchange takes place. Marisol has a heartfelt reunion with her son and her husband. The husband is almost shot but Silvanito points a shot gun the gang member. The Man convinces Marisol to leave with Ramon and for the husband to go home. The Man joins the Rojos and celebrates with them through the night. Chico carries the Man to his bed. A few moments later the Man gets up apparently faking drunkenness. He sneaks to the house that Marisol is being held and surprises all the guards inside. He quickly shoots them all and ransacks the place. Marisol warns him about one of the guards that are still alive and he throws a machete into his heart. He takes Marisol to the house across the street. She carries her son in her arms while her husband follows her. The Man gives them a bag of gold and tells them to run across the border. Rojo's men hear the shots and investigate the house. The Man slips away back to his room in the compound.
Ramon ambushes the Man in his room. Afterwords they interrogate him in the wine cellar. The Man says nothing but gets kicked, pushed, stepped on, and hand burned by cigar. They leave him alone for a while. Two men come back later for further questioning when a giant barrel crushes them. He escapes into the hall soon after the Ramon and three cronies check the cellar. They go inside and the Man throws a match at the entrance which lights up on fire. They search all over the compound while the Man crawls underneath a porch. They interrogate Silvanito, beat him up a little, and leave. The Man eventually hides inside of a coffin so the Undertaker helps him escape the town. The Rojo continue their search with the Baxter house. They light it on fire with lots of alcohol barrels. The Baxters run out exclaiming they surrender but are shot anyway.
The Man recuperates inside of a mine shooting a piece of metal over and over again. None of his bullets puncture it. The Undertaker comes in and explain that Silvanito has been captured on his way to the mine. Outside of the cantina Silvanito is strung up and beaten. An explosion goes off behind some buildings. A plume of smoke and dust ride through the town. As the dust fades the Man comes walking towards the Rojo gang. Ramon shoots him with his winchester rifle. The Man gets up and is repeatedly shot. The Man takes off the metal plate underneath his poncho and shoots all of Ramon's guards while disarming Ramon. Also he frees Silvanito by shooting the rope holding him. He drops his gun and gives Ramon a chance to reload his rifle. The two race to their guns and reload. The Man shoots Ramon. Esteban is hiding in one of the buildings so Silvanito shoots him with a shotgun. A fistful of dollars ends with the Man With No Name leaving town before the gold is picked up by the government.