The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Finally, FINALLY the Hunger Games trilogy gets good!
Once again we follow Katniss Everdeen played by Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle, Winter’s Bone, Silver Linings Playbook) into the world of Panem which is made up of 13 different districts. As we learned from the first two movies years ago a revolution raised up against the Capital, district thirteen was destroyed the Capital won and as punishment for the revolution the Hunger Games was created. Fast forward to the 74th and 75th Hunger Game and we pretty much know the story that’s taken place with Katniss and Peeta Mellark played by Josh Hutcherson (Red Dawn *2012, Detention, Journey to the Center of the Earth). From the previous movie after the 75th Hunger Game we remember Katniss shooting her arrow into the arena force field and causing a power failure and cutting off the capitols surveillance. Katniss is rescued only to be told that Peeta and a few of the other tributes had been captured by the Capitol, and her home district twelve has been destroyed.
If you haven’t seen any of the previous films I know you’re having a WTH moment right now. I want to be able to say you should go out and see the first two films and then go for the third…I want to..but I can’t. The first film was a futuristic, high-tech over the top Lord of the Flies knock off. It was just a boring drag. The second movie: same as the first. I know putting a bunch of hormonal teenagers in a room together with a butt-load of weapons instructing them that ‘there can be only one’ sounds cool. But it’s not. Or maybe it’s just not my cup of tea. I never did like Lord of the Flies in English class.
However with Part one of the finale I can honestly say it’s starting to get good. And about time! After being rescued Katniss along with a few other victors are taken to the remains of district thirteen which is now an underground rebel facility. There she meets President Alma Coin played by Julianne Moore (The English Teacher, Crazy Stupid Love, Non-Stop) who asks her to become the symbol for the rebellion. It takes a while but Katniss agrees with the condition that they rescue Peeta and the other victors who were kidnapped by the Capitol. As Katniss visit’s old ruins and the wounded who have been victims of the Capital she is assigned a camera crew who follow her and upload her words of inspiration to get the hopes up for the other rebels. But the Capitol fights back with televised news feed of Peeta who they are using to try to quell the rebellion and Katniss knows that the rescue for Peeta must happen sooner rather than later before the Capitol kills him.
In this film Katniss does not glamour up for reality television. She’s not in some makeshift arena fighting with other teenagers for the prize. No, with Mockingjay we finally get the revolution story we’ve been waiting for which only took two movies to get to. Better late then never. Here Katniss is in the nitty-gritty, she’s on the battle fields, among the wounded. She actually goes up against two of the Capitols bombing aircrafts which was a pretty cool scene. We are graced with familiar faces such as Gale Hawthorne played by Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song, Cut Bank, Triangle), Haymitch Abernathy played by Woody Harrelson (2012, Semi-Pro, Seven Psychopaths), and Effie Trinket, whose return was actually humorous and enjoyable, played by Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Role Models). There are a few slow scenes and a lot of preachy dialogue. There are at least two scenes where something important and thrilling is happening and someone’s making a speech while this important thing is happening and we have to listen to it while we’re watching this important scene. Why? Cause it’s the important thrilling scene, obviously! We can’t have a scene like that without someone giving an inspirational speech while it’s happening!
Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action and disturbing images.
Rotten tomatoes has this film rated as a 67% fresh. Which is lower than the first two films which were both in the 80’s realm. I don’t know maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t like Lord of the Flies.
Unfortunately I can’t say skip the first two films and go straight to Mockingjay. You will be hopelessly confused. But I stand behind my belief that this so far is the greatest of The Hunger Games films. The ending was not as cliffhangy as the first two but still left me excited to see what Part 2 will bring. For the first time ever I find myself anxious for the next Hunger Games movie.