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.
Baloo goes into competition with his friend Louie when Rebecca Cunningham opens a mid-air refueling service.
Baloo grumbles as he lands his plane at Louie's. He complains to his navigator, Kit Cloudkicker, that their boss, Rebecca Cunningham, is sending them on crazier and crazier missions. They touch down and tell the monkey gas station attendants to service their plane the Sea Duck. A strange noise of thuds followed by a ding come from the inside of the plane's hold. One of the monkeys investigates and finds a hold full of kangaroos and milk cans. The monkeys get to work cleaning and refueling even though they are completely confused.
Louie Reads the Magna Carta or Baloo's Tab.
Inside the bar, Baloo and Kit sit at the bar and complain to the bartender Louie. They say that Rebecca has a crazy idea to churn butter by having kangaroos jump around in a plane with milk. Louie agrees that the plan is crazy. He then creates a large ice cream sundae and places a sparkler in it. It is called the Krakatoa Special. Baloo tries to eat it, but a waiter takes it away from him to deliver to a table. Baloo asks for a sundae, but Louie unfolds Baloo's bar tab. It is sizeable. Louie states that he has cut off Baloo until he pays his debts. Baloo looks sad until Louie gives in and gives him a free scoop of strawberry ice cream. Baloo and Kit voraciously eat the ice cream.
Baloo and Kit the bar and head to their plane. On the way, they toss a nickel tip to the monkey gas station attendants. The monkey attendants fight for the pittance. Baloo and Kit board the Sea Duck and depart for Cape Suzette.
Fly to Here.
At the office of Higher for Hire, Baloo sits in a chair and discusses the mission with Rebecca. He complains that the kangaroos hopping around were a flight hazard and made him hit his head on the ceiling numerous times. Kit arrives with an ice pack and places it on Baloo's head. Rebecca points out that they sold buckets of fresh butter. Baloo does not care. He says he is through with Rebecca's crazy, money-making schemes. Rebecca says that she has a brand new scheme to try: mid-air refueling. Baloo thinks it is dangerous and stupid. Kit is not so sure. He thinks that pilots will pay for the convenience and time saved. He also tells Baloo that they can repay their bar tab at Louie's with the tips they receive from the fueling sorties. Baloo is intrigued by the possibility of being able to buy ice cream sundaes and agrees to the scheme. Rebecca says that the best place to set up shop is a tenth of a gas tank's distance from Cape Suzette. Baloo points out that this location is almost directly over Louie's. Rebecca knows.
Kit Fills the Plane with Watermelons.
The next day, their mid-air refueling service opens. A balloon with signs dangles at cruising altitude. A pilot spots the signs and reads them. They say to honk the plane's horn for refueling services. The pilot is confused but honks his horn. Baloo pulls alongside the plane in the Sea Duck and holds up a sign asking if the pilot wants to be refueled. The pilot nods, and the Sea Duck begins its refueling maneuver. Baloo pulls ahead of the other plane and engages the autopilot -- a crowbar across the flight yolk. He and Kit go to the rear ramp of the Sea Duck. Kit grabs a gas nozzle and unfolds his air foil. He glides down to the refueling port for the waiting plane. He begins fueling. The gas pump is manual, and Baloo has to turn a crank. Kit washes the windows of the plane while they wait. The refueling finishes. Kit grabs the nozzle and swings over to the pilot's window. He says the service costs $4.50. The pilot is so impressed that he gives Kit a five dollar bill. Kit is amazed at the fifty cent tip. He returns to the Sea Duck. More planes begin to line up to be refueled. Baloo and Kit get back to work.
Two Stacks of $5 Bills -- Nearly $200 in Profits.
That night, Baloo and Kit return to Higher for Hire, and Rebecca counts the profits. She is glad that her idea is doing well. Baloo and Kit are not so happy. They say that they are out of gas and that the tips are lousy. Rebecca says that they should get more gas if demand is so high. Baloo is not happy about having to go back to mid-air refueling and having to do more work. There is a knock at the door. Kit answers, and a goat enters to speak with Rebecca. He says that he is from the Aviation Association. Rebecca says that her mid-air refueling service breaks no laws. The goat agrees but says that it is dangerous. He says that if there is a single slip-up, he will have the service shut down. He leaves.
Swinging from an Explosive Fuel Pump.
The next day, Baloo and Kit refuel dozens of planes. In the Sea Duck, Baloo grumbles as he cranks three fuel pumps simultaneously. He complains to nobody in particular that Rebecca has the ideas but does not do any of the work. Kit swings from plane to plane, running multiple tasks at once.
Baloo and Kit take a break and decide to visit Louie's. They land, and the monkey service workers offer to refuel the Sea Duck. Baloo declines and states he has much more gas than he needs. He heads to the bar and notices that the place is deserted. No pilots land to refuel, so they do not come into the bar anymore. Baloo repays his debt to Louie and orders an ice cream sundae. Louie is all too happy to give ice cream to a paying customer. He prepares the Krakatoa Special and hands it to Baloo. Louie asks how Baloo has come into so much money. Baloo answers that the mid-air refueling business is booming. Louie becomes upset and takes back the ice cream sundae. He explains that Baloo and Kit have stolen his business. Baloo says that the air is free and that it is not personal. Louie ejects Baloo and Kit from the bar.
The next day, Baloo and Kit return to the refueling airspace for another day of hard work. They arrive and spot a balloon advertising Louie's new in air refueling service. They spot Louie flying a plane with his monkey gas station attendants. A pilot flies beneath the plane, and the monkeys work as an efficient team to refuel the aircraft quickly. The pilot is impressed and calls it the best service he has ever had. Baloo and Kit are both disturbed and intrigued at the competition. They return to Higher for Hire to explain this new development.
Need Anything Fixed... in Mid-Air?
Baloo and Kit turn in their tip jar to Rebecca and try to return to being air freight pilots. Rebecca says that they cannot give up just because of a little competition. Baloo says that they cannot compete with all of Louie's monkeys. They are nowhere near as efficient. Rebecca says that they have something that Louie does not have: a mechanic. She points to a confused looking Wildcat.
The next day, Baloo and Kit fly their refueling mission with Wildcat. A plane flies underneath the Sea Duck. Its starboard engine is making a loud knocking noise. Wildcat lowers on a rope and asks the pilot what the problem is. The pilot says that the engine is making a funny noise. Wildcat says he cannot hear the pilot and to wait a second. Wildcat goes to the engine and hits it with a mallet. The engine restats with the correct timing and no longer makes the noise. Wildcat returns to the pilot and asks what the problem is. The pilots says there is no problem anymore and gives Wildcat a pile of money. Baloo pulls Wildcat back up to the Sea Duck. Baloo wonders aloud how Louie can compete with a mechanic.
Collect the Whole Set.
Louie stands on the wing of his plane, announcing that he has slashed prices and is offering prizes with each tank of gas. Somehow his talking through a bullhorn allows pilots to hear him. He also holds up plates. Each plate is collectible and comes free with a tank of gas. Louie suggests that pilots should collect the whole set.
Baloo returns to Higher for Hire to tell Rebecca of Louie's cheaper service. He thinks that they cannot compete with such low prices and that he can return to being a pilot. Rebecca says that she has another idea that will take all of their profits. Baloo does not like the sound of the idea.
Several days later, Baloo and Kit float on a mid-air refueling and dining platform. Baloo speaks through a megaphone and informs passing pilots that they can stop to get refueled and enjoy some fine dining. A pilot docks with the platform. Baloo extends a grappling arm that holds the plane in mid-air. The pilot climbs onto the platform, and Baloo asks why he chose their service. He explains that he has enough collectible gravy boats and would prefer some food. The pilot asks if the food on the platform is any good. Baloo states that it is four stars good with a bonus moon thrown it. Wildcat is the chef, and he cooks hotdogs. The pilot leaves and Baloo shouts that he should not forget the free beach blanket. The plane detaches and continues on its course. Baloo counts the earnings.
The next day, Baloo spots that Louie has a new mid-air refueling and dining platform. On Louie's platform, monkey waiters serve ice cream sundaes and lemonade. Baloo watches Louie through binoculars, and Louie does likewise. Louie takes an ice cream sundae and loads it into slingshot. He shoots it into Baloo's face. Baloo is angry that Louie is stealing ideas and throwing ice cream. Kit asks how Baloo knows that Louie is responsible. Baloo looks through his binoculars and sees Louie dancing around triumphantly.
A customer arrives, and Baloo and Louie fight over him. Baloo grabs onto the plane with his grappling arm. Louie moves his platform and also grabs the plane. The plane is pulled between the two platforms. Baloo declares that he had the customer first, but Louie begins making offers. Baloo counters, and the offers get ridiculous. The customer says that he would really just like some fuel. Baloo and Louie do not care what the customer thinks. They are concerned only with their feud.
Baloo tries to pump fuel into the plane, but Louie swings over to Baloo's platform and kinks the fuel line. Wildcat cranks the pump hard, but no fuel is being pumped to the plane. Louie says that he can pump the fuel and starts to do so. Baloo notices the kink in the line and tries to get back at Louie. He crawls over to Louie's platform and attaches his fuel line to Louie's pump. The gas being pumped is Baloo's. The pilot tries to pay anyone. Baloo says that Louie pumped his fuel, and Louie says that Baloo did not do any actual pumping.
Baloo and Louie start fighting on the wing of the plane. The pilot detaches and leaves, leaving Baloo and Louie to push at each other on their platforms. Louie says that he is tired of Baloo stealing his business. Baloo responds by placing Louie inside of a tire. Louie frees himself and starts riding Baloo. Baloo cannot see and stumbles over the edge of the platform, knocking over some beach towels with them.
Baloo and Louie plummet towards Louie's Bar on his island. They fear that they are about to die. Baloo spots the beach towels, and he and Louie grab the corners. The blanket manages to slow them down enough that they merely crash painfully into Louie's Bar. They recover from their landing and finally admit they do not like what they are doing. They agree that the competition is tearing them apart and that they used to be such good friends. Baloo says he would prefer to be a pilot, and Louie says that he would rather be a terrestrial bartender. They agree that the problem is Rebecca's schemes. Baloo comes up with a plan. He remembers that the aviation inspector said that he would close down the refueling service at the slightest sign of trouble. He says that there may be some trouble at 3PM in the form of an explosion. Louie likes the idea.
Back at the Higher for Hire offices, the aviation inspector meets with Rebecca to announce a surprise inspection at 3PM. He and Rebecca fly to the mid-air refueling platform.
The Clock Has a Mustache.
Baloo and Louie place a time bomb on Baloo's platform by hiding it in a pile of tires. They then retreat to Louie's platform to watch the explosion. Kit, Baloo, Louie, and Wildcat recline on deck chairs, sip lemonade, and wait for the explosion. Wildcat asks for peanuts.
Rebecca and the aviation inspector arrive at the station. Rebecca notices signs saying that the station is closed and is confused. They dock anyway and step onto the platform. Rebecca calls for Baloo, but he is not aboard.
Over on Louie's platform, Baloo spots Rebecca docking and is worried that she is about to explode. He shouts to her, but the platforms are too far apart. Baloo maneuvers Louie's platform closer and jumps to his original platform. He greets Rebecca and the aviation inspector. He decides the easiest and fastest way to get them off the platform is to service the aviation inspector's plane. Baloo rapidly fill the plane to bursting with gas, washes the plane, cooks a hotdog with a blow torch, and gives the aviation inspector a free beach towel. The aviation inspector is impressed with the speed of the service and admits that the mid-air refueling idea may have been a good one. Rebecca and the aviation inspector depart. Baloo looks at the bomb and sees he only has seconds left. He jumps from the platform as it explodes. Wildcat and Kit arrive in the Sea Duck. They catch Baloo on one of the pontoons.
Later, Baloo wakes in the hospital. He lies in bed, covered in casts with his appendages in traction. Louie and Kit are present and congratulate Baloo on successfully shutting down the refueling operations. Louie takes out an ice cream sundae with sparklers. Baloo is terrified of the fire and shouts for Louie to put it away. Baloo tells Kit to prevent Rebecca from coming up with any more crazy schemes. Rebecca enters and apologizes to Baloo for having the platform explode. She says that the inspector shut down mid-air refueling. Baloo is happy and leaps for joy. He is then in a lot of pain. Rebecca then explains her next idea: mid-air milkshakes. She says that they get more kangaroos, some milk and ice cream, and mix the milkshakes in mid-air via kangaroo. She says they can sell them to thirsty pilots and call them Sky Shakes. Baloo yells.