The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 (2014)

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7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Jennifer Lawrence

Half a story, not as visual as the other entries

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay—Part 1

Studio:  Lionsgate

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  November 21, 2014

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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That’s right…I’m on fire!

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has been rescued from the Games and is housed inside District 13 which is hidden underground and the source of the rebellion.  Now, Katniss finds herself being used by President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) of District 13 and facing off against President Snow (Donald Sutherland).  President Snow has a secret weapon and is using Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and the other Tribunes as leverage in his battle.  Katniss and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) must rescue Peeta and Katniss finds herself the unlikely face of a rebellion.

Directed by Francis Lawrence, The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay—Part 1 adapts the first half of Suzanne Collins’ 2010 novel The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay.  The movie opened to great box office numbers but showed a significant drop off from the previous entry.

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When they say you can never go home again, I didn’t think they meant it like this…

The Hunger Games follows The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Twilight in “going big” on adaptations.  Locking in the cast and allowing characters to develop has been key to the success of these series.  The Hunger Games locked out extremely to nab up-and-comer Jennifer Lawrence for the lead…especially since she now “Oscar Winner” Jennifer Lawrence.

The movie does have a slight problem.  Like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Twilight:  Breaking Dawn (and all of The Hobbit), the movie is splitting up one book.  This means while the story develops throughout the movie, there isn’t very much resolution since Part 2 is necessary to wrap the whole series up.  The ending does have some drama, but lacks the energy of the first two films (and it is also notably more violent).

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Just warning you, Gale…you’re rapidly entering “I like you as a friend” status

Jennifer Lawrence really sells this movie.  She is able to show a range of emotion and has to carry most of the movie.  The movie increases Katniss’s relationship with Gale played by Josh Hutcherson, but unfortunately, Gale is rather generic (and I would rather have seen the more interesting Fennick played by Sam Claflin). Josh Hutcherson is much more limited in this entry as he is a prisoner for most of the film.  The movie introduces Julianne Moore as the rather cold leader of District 13 and gave more background to Donald Sutherland’s President Snow.  Unfortunately, the likable Woody Harrelson is kind of sidelined for most of the movie by the plot and it is fun to see the switch for Elizabeth Banks as Effie who has to lose her exotic costumes.  The movie is dedicated to Phillip Seymour Hoffman who died during the making of Mockingjay…It will be interesting to see how his character is handled in the next entry since he allegedly didn’t get to finish filming it.

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I’m crazy Peeta…not sappy Peeta

The movie looks great but I miss the artsy nature of the first movie.  I know that many felt the first entry in the series was too shaky, but I liked that it was much edgier than this film which feels more like a standard action (but surprisingly lacking in action).

The Hunger Game:  Mockingjay—Part 1 feels like an incomplete film because it is incomplete by nature.  It feels odd to go to a movie and knowingly see half a film and I still wonder if they could have just made the movie one long film…which obviously would have cut down profits.  I enjoy The Hunger Games, but it is strange to see one that has no games.  I’ll be interested to see how the series wraps up and if Part 2 justifies splitting the movie into two parts.  The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay—Part 1 is followed by The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay—Part 2 in 2015.

Related Links:

The Hunger Games (2012)

The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire (2013)

The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay—Part 2 (2015)

The Hunger Games—Book 1

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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