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.
Rebecca makes a deal with some apparently high class customers that may result in the loss of the Sea Duck.
Did Anyone Order a Bag of Excrement?
Rebecca Cunningham prepares the offices of Higher for Hire for important guests. She lays out tray of canapés and hangs important looking art. A man enters the office with a bag of manure and asks if Higher for Hire can ship his high quality fertilizer. Rebecca is disgusted by the man and ejects him from the property. She physically throws him out of the building and tosses his fertilizer after him. The man is insulted and leaves. Baloo enters seconds later and wonders why his boss just ejected a paying customer. Rebecca explains that she wants to set a new, high tone for their establishment. She wants to attract richer clientele. Baloo states that Fred the Fertilizer salesman has a personal fortune of over half a million Shaboobies (dollars). Rebecca refuses to believe.
Baloo Does Not Remember Posing for This Photograph.
Baloo continues to grill Rebecca on wanting a higher class client list. He notices that Rebecca hanged a painted portrait of some noble where his photograph of Louie once was. Rebecca says she was tired of staring at a slob all day. Baloo explains that he is a slob. Rebecca then shows Baloo an ad from the latest edition of an aviation magazine. It is a full page ad describing Higher for Hire as a quality institution for rich people to travel by air. Baloo wonders how much the ad cost, and Rebecca explains that it cost $500. Baloo is flabbergasted. Rebecca states that one has to spend money to make money.
We're Rich. Mm-nyah!
A knock comes at the door --- the first of Rebecca's rich clientele. Rebecca at first tells them to take their manure elsewhere, but when they enter and appear to be affluent foxes, she changes her disposition. She greets them and invites them to sit and discuss business. Baloo kicks a pair of barrels under the foxes as they sit. Rebecca asks how they would like to use Higher for Hire's services. The foxes, named Buffy and Muffy Van der Smear, say they need high quality, safe transport for their grandmothers precious jewels to their family compound on Hyena's Port. Rebecca says that they can provide the air transportation service. Buffy and Muffy then ask if Higher for Hire is insured. Baloo says that of course they are. They are a professional operation. Rebecca takes Baloo aside into a closet. She says that she cashed out the insurance policy to pay for the advertisement. Baloo is shocked. Rebecca locks Baloo in the closet as she leaves. Rebecca returns to the Van der Smears and says that Higher for Hire has the latest in collateral insurance. When they take off, Rebecca gives them the deed to the Sea Duck, the plane. If anything happens, they keep the plane. Baloo bangs on the locked door in anger. He does not want to lose his plane.
The Van der Smears leave to prepare for a three o'clock departure time, and Rebecca lets Baloo out of the closet. She goes to prepare for the trip and asks Baloo to paint the Sea Duck. Baloo says that the plane cannot be painted and dried in a matter of hours. She asks him to just wash it. Baloo grumbles as he gets to work.
At the proscribed time, Rebecca shows up at the plane and notices Baloo still cleaning it. She complains that Baloo looks like a slob. Baloo explains again that he is a slob. He does not think that his appearance is important as he is going to be sitting inside the cockpit the entire flight. The Van der Smears arrive with their luggage. Rebecca greets them and asks to see the family jewels. They open a satchel filled with shiny objects. Rebecca is impressed. She hands over the deed to the Sea Duck, over the objections of Baloo. The group boards the plane, and Rebecca orders Baloo to fetch the luggage. Baloo grumbles and rather roughly tosses the luggage into the hold of the Sea Duck. One of the bags hits Muffy van der Smear, and she curses loudly at Baloo. She regains her composure, but Baloo begins to suspect that the van der Smears are not what they seem. He boards the plane and enters the cockpit. He explains his concerns that their passengers may be con people. Rebecca dismisses the thought and orders Baloo to get them into the air. Baloo takes off and starts heading towards Hyena's Port.
During the flight, Rebecca prepares a sandwich for their passengers. Baloo tries to eat it, but Rebecca slaps his hand away from the food. She goes into the cabin to serve the food. Buffy van der Smear comes into the cockpit to talk to Baloo. He asks the pilot if he could fly for a little. He says that he always wanted to dabble in aviation. Baloo warns the passenger away from touching any controls that may instantly kill them. Rebecca uses the intercom to chide Baloo. Back in the cabin, Muffy has a window open as she would like the breeze on her face. Baloo comes back to tell her that having the window open may lead to them crashing. Rebecca tells Baloo to let the van der Smears have a little leeway. Baloo says that Buffy wants to fly. Rebecca says that Baloo should let Buffy fly. No harm could possibly come of it. The plane goes into a dive as Buffy takes the controls. Baloo climbs back in to the cockpit and takes the control back.
I Gotcha, Little Satchel.
Muffy screams that she lost the jewels out the open window, and Baloo scrambles to recover them before he loses the deed to this plane. He puts the plane into a dive and heads into the hold to get a net. He digs through his supplies and eventually finds a net. He returns to the cockpit as the plane catches up with the jewels. He catches the jewels in a net and pulls out of the dive just before the plane slams into the water. He tosses the jewels to Buffy and tells him to hold onto them. Buffy leaves the cockpit. Rebecca thanks Baloo for saving the jewels and their business. Baloo stats that he still has suspicions about their passengers. He finds it odd that the plane tipped after the window opened, almost like it was planned before hand. Rebecca laughs at this assertion. In response, Baloo says that they are going to land at Louie's Night Club.
Baloo lands the Sea Duck at Louie's island. He tells a monkey mechanic to fix the Sea Duck. The van der Smears find the island quaint and wish to explore. Rebecca recommends staying in the plane, but they are set on going into the night club. The group heads into Louie's and find people drunk, fighting, and passed out in various locations. Louie spots his old friend Baloo and swings down from a balcony to greet him. Rebecca nudges Baloo and tells him to put Louie on his best behavior. Baloo greets Louie and passes on the message. Louie nods and tries to be as suave and charming as possible -- meaning not much. He says hello to the van der Smears and shakes their hands with his feet. He then kisses Rebecca's hand. He leads them over to a table.
GAAAH! Shadow Monster!
The van der Smears are becoming more and more disgusted with the situation. Muffy states that her fork is dirty. Louie apologizes, breathes on the fork, and wipes it on his groin. Louie leaves to attend to other business. The van der Smears excuse themselves, and Rebecca berates Baloo for bringing them to such a place. Outside, the monkey mechanic working on the Sea Duck naps. A shadowy figure, roughly van der Smear sized, strips an essential component out of the Sea Duck. The van der Smears return to Baloo and Rebecca and demand to leave immediately. Rebecca agrees but cannot find her purse. She thinks that one of the patrons must have stolen it. She tells Baloo to go talk to Louie about the possible theft.
Tip of the Cap.
Baloo sheepishly approaches his friend. He mentions the purse, and Louie says that they know each other and the bar patrons. They are not thieves. Baloo knows, but he needs to find the purse. He finds it in a lost and found box in the corner of the office. Louie says that one of the waiters must have found it. Baloo is happy that there was no theft involved and thanks Louie as he leaves.
Baloo returns to the table and gives the purse to Rebecca. He states that it was in Louie's office. The van der Smears call Louie a filthy thief. Baloo tries to defend his friend, but Rebecca agrees with the van der Smears. Baloo is getting upset that Rebecca is judging people by how they look. The van der Smears demand to leave before their jewels are stolen. They depart Louie's and head to the Sea Duck. The monkey mechanic reports that someone has sabotaged the plane. The van der Smears cry that it is a plot to keep them on the island and steal the jewels. The monkey mechanic says that they will have a part rigged up by morning. The van der Smears faint at the thought of spending the night.
No Means No. Seriously.
Back in Louie's, Louie states that he will be the most cordial host and set them up with his best rooms. He then comes on to Rebecca. She continually slides away from Louie's advances, but he insists. Baloo tries to stop Louie and his amorous intentions, but the orangutan does not listen. He tells the band to play a special song, and he hops up on a table and says that the song is for Rebecca. He then grabs Rebecca and carries her onto the stage. She shouts to put her down, but Louie continues. He starts dancing with her. Rebecca takes a grapefruit from a patron eating a grapefruit and smashes it into Louie's face. Louie sputters. Rebecca, the van der Smears, and Baloo leave Louie's in a huff. On the way out, Muffy asks what happened to the pearls that Rebecca was wearing. Rebecca exclaims and claims that Louie must have stolen them during the dance. The van der Smears warn that if anything happens to their family jewels, Baloo loses his plane.
How Did Those Get There?
Baloo confronts Louie. He says that Louie's being a creep is costing him his plane. Baloo lifts Louie up by the collar, and Rebecca's pearl necklace falls out of Louie's shirt. He claims to not know why they are on his person. Baloo is indignant and says that perhaps one can judge a book by its cover. Louie is sad. Baloo returns the pearls to Rebecca in her room and goes off to guard the van der Smear jewels. Rebecca now regrets turning Baloo against his friend and forcing Baloo into an untenable situation where they could lose their livelihood.
Baloo Plans to Shoot Someone in the Face.
Baloo paces back and forth in front of the van der Smears' room with a flare gun. He mutters that he is going to shoot anyone who approaches in the face with a flare. He sits down on a deck chair and struggles to stay awake. He loses the battle for consciousness and awakes the next day to a shriek. He fires the flare gun into the ceiling. The van der Smears claims their jewels have been stolen. Baloo rushes into the room and starts tearing the room apart looking for the jewels. Rebecca arrives and tries to apologize. The van der Smears do not want to hear it. They wish to depart the island immediately in their new plane, the Sea Duck. They start the engines and take off. They fail to secure a mooring line, and Baloo chases after them. He grabs the mooring line and is dragged behind the plane. Baloo hits his head on a buoy and is knocked senseless.
Granted, Louie Should Have Shown This Piece of Evidence First.
Louie approaches Rebecca. Rebecca does not want to talk to Louie as she thinks he is a thief. Louie has bad news about the van der Smears. He says that they are con artists and tried to frame him. Rebecca does not believe Louie. Louie asks if they ever paid for their trip. Rebecca takes out a check that they paid with, but the ink has disappeared. Louie calls it the old evaporating ink routine. A monkey waiter arrives with the "stolen jewels." He says he found them in the jungle. Louie takes one of the diamonds and smashes it with a rock. They are made out of glass. Louie then shows Rebecca a wanted poster with the van der Smears' faces on it. Rebecca admits that Baloo was right and that you should not judge someone by their appearance.
Up and at Them!
Louie offers to help. Rebecca wonders why Louie would help after the way she treated him. Louie responds that he is always willing to help a pretty lady. The pair board a glider, and a monkey waiter arrives in a speed boat. The waiter tosses Louie a rope, and he ties it to the glider. The speed boat chases after the Sea Duck and tows the glider aloft. Louie is happy to have some alone time with Rebecca. Rebecca apologizes to Louie for treating him so poorly.
The con artists on the Sea Duck laugh at their own genius. They think they are safe. They then spot the glider and speed boat in pursuit. They change their heading to pass over an island. The speed boat cannot travel through the island while the Sea Duck can travel over it. The monkey waiter guns the engine on the speed boat to close the distance. The boat crashes into the island, but the momentum brings the glider within reach of the Sea Duck. Louie and Rebecca board the Sea Duck through the side hatch. The con artists think they are once again safe, but Rebecca and Louie arrive and beat them mercilessly.
Oh, It's on Now, Sucka!
During the course of the fight, the controls to the plane get bumped, and the Sea Duck heads towards a mountain. Louie takes the controls and manages to prevent the imminent crash. He then turns his attentions to the con artists. He catches the female crook in a net. The crook insults Louie, so Rebecca knocks her out with a single punch. She says that nobody insults her friends. Louie and Rebecca celebrate the capture of two wanted fugitives and the retaking of the Sea Duck.
They return to Louie's and try to revive Baloo. Baloo wears bandages on his head and has severe head trauma. Baloo says he had a horrible dream where snobby people stole his plane. Rebecca explains that it was not a dream but everything is fine now as she and Louie rescued the Sea Duck. Baloo shakes his head as he cannot believe that Rebecca and Louie are now friends. Louie kisses Rebecca, and she shoves him into the water underneath the pier. She rethinks her stance on Louie being sleazy.