The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

by | Dec 9, 2014 | 0 comments

A Studio Ruins The Ending of a Great Franchise 

What frustrates me is that the cast and crew could not have done it better, but studio Lionsgate had to copy all the other Young Adult movie franchises. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 seems to be like “trying to spread butter over too much bread” to quote The Lord of the Rings, a franchise that didn’t have to split its last film into two for greed. The Hunger Games saw that Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hobbit were increasing their revenue by splitting the books into more films than needed. What angers me is that this tactic will probably work for Lionsgate, but quality-wise it’s a disgrace.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 picks off where we last left off in Catching Fire. The third film in the series begins to mount the tension of an oncoming rebellion, being formed under President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch (the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman to who this film is dedicated to). There are also the recurring characters of Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Effie (Elizabeth Banks) who join the revolutionary cause, but seem to be in the film simply for their names rather than for an actual part. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is reunited with her family and (one of) her love interests, Gale (Liam Hemsworth). Katniss is shown around the districts for her to see the horror and terror that the evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is waging on rebels and innocents alike. Coin and Plutarch want Katniss to be their banner to advertise their rebellion.

The film begins well, it takes a slow pace and starts building its characters to their near breaking points, but it never gets past that. The film seems to be constantly in the beginning. Just when things begin to actually get interesting the film cuts off cruelly and leaves you to look forward to another year of anguish.

There are simply too many unnecessary scenes. There is an entire 20 minutes of film where Katniss and Gale go hunting, but end up not doing anything, not catching deer, not making out, nothing. This slow pace could have been used to advance character development, but after half an hour of film, director Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer) is left with another hour and a half to fill up.

The cast is amazing in the film. Jennifer Lawrence, as always, helps us pull through the full two hours, but it’s still is not enough to fix Lionsgate’s mistake. I was very disappointed that with all the time given Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and even Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman weren’t given more screen time. Liam Hemsworth is given a respectable amount of moments, and it isn’t regretted. The addition of Natalie Dormer to the cast also helped, she is able to actually show more character depth and development than anyone else, and she’s given like five minutes! Director Francis Lawrence seemed too focused on showing the younger cast than the more experienced actors. Yes, the film is aimed at younger audiences, but you can’t have Woody Harrelson in your film only give him two lines.    

I don’t want to keep ranting. The bottom line is that the film is unnecessarily long and droning. The only reason to go see the film is to see a great cast (and to pay respects to Phillip Seymour Hoffman), but don’t expect the thrill of the past films or even the great costumes and visual effects; expect disappointment.

  • OVERALL MOVIE RATING 61% 61%

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What is your favorite Hunger Games movie? Let me know in the comments section.

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