THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 – REVIEW

Jennifer Lawrence and co return for the beginning of the end, or I guess, the beginning of the beginning of the end of the Hunger Games saga, in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part ‘. So is it any good?

YES

Mockingjay Part 1 picks up shortly after the previous entry, Catching Fire, with Katniss being rescued from the games by a group of rebels from the illusive District 13. After seeing the aftermath of the Capital’s wrath on her precious District 12, Katniss agrees to become the ‘Mockingjay’ – the symbol and face of the rebellion against the Capital. Katniss embarks on a series of ‘missions’ in an effort to be documented for propaganda material to be distributed to the other districts. Mockingjay proves that this franchise is well above the average young adult reader and should be enjoyed by all who’ve enjoyed this series so far. It’s a credit to the filmmakers that the film continues to be a great watch despite the lack of the titular games in this installment. Replacing the games are first true signs of war and ultimately (I’m guessing…) building towards a big confrontation between the rebellious districts and the capital.

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Jennifer Lawrence continues to shine as Katniss, but is also fantastically supported by an amazing supporting cast! Phillip Seymour Hoffman is great in his small, final role as a high ranking member of the rebellion, and newcomer to this series, Julianne Moore proves to be a strong leader for District 13. Game of Thrones, Natalie Dormer plays a feisty documentarian leading a crew that follows Katniss into battle, cameras rolling. Even Fulton from The Mighty Ducks also shows up here as a member of the film crew! Donald Sutherland does amazing work with his minor screen time, and Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks reprise their roles, adding some much needed humor to the otherwise serious film.  Honestly there isn’t a bad performance in here!

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There is one major negative about this film and that’s the fact that its clearly half a story, and whilst its clear in the marketing this is a two part story, some audiences may be disappointed with the abrupt and non conclusive end of this flick. The movie does an amazing job in building anticipation of the war that is going to break out in the part two, but doesn’t provide any memorable action sequences as strong as the previous two flicks set in the games.

Let’s be honest, no matter what you read here, or in the media, you’ve already made your mind up whether you’re seeing this movie. This is a huge tent-pole flick and the popularity of this franchise has only grown with each installment. With a lot of studios trying to build franchises out of Young Adult novels, it’s great to see this solid series continue to evolve and go from strength to strength. It’s a little disappointed that the studio felt they needed to string out the third book across two films but this seems to be the ‘craze’ these days. Too bad they couldn’t put their wallets away and just create a solid, conclusive, single film.

“Mockingjay Part 1” is definitely worth checking, and is in all cinemas now!

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