Then, years later, when watched in the context of the trilogy? The film is arguably the best of the three. This may be the fate of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. At the very least the film may seem fuller once surrounded by parts one and three.
The film, like the first one, has a fine collection of actors and is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the book. The changes made are not substantial. This is not a Peter Jackson movie that runs gleefully away from its source material cutting and pasting. It isn't identical. Of course the third book is going to be two movies, not one (KA-Ching!). It has worked in the past--the last two Harry Potter movies came from one book. But that was a massive book.
There is little attempt to develop existing characters further in the second film--we know who they all are from the first film. Woody Harrelson's Haymitch and Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss are the same as we left them. The former alcoholic and crafty and the latter brave and conflicted. Some characters get a little more human (Elizabeth Bank's Effie, for instance) but mostly this is status quo.
There are two new characters of note; Finnick, Johanna, Beetee and most notably Plutarch Heavensby, played by Philip Seymour-Hoffman. All these characters are not just important in this movie but have a big part in the two films to come.
The film perhaps drag a bit in the set up, as we see the tour of the victors unfold and then go through the set up for a second Hunger Games--the procession, the interviews and the melee as the games start. It is all a little familiar but it also tracks along fairly close to the book. Parts of what is actually going on are hidden and a second viewing of the movie may--or may not--reveal clues.
This is a good film, not a great one. But it may prove to have a second life with a second look.