Mockingjay Part 1 plays as the 3rd installment in The Hunger Games series and although there are only 3 books, the executives at Lions Gate have decided to break the 3rd and final installment into 2 films. Hence the “Part 1.”
Mockingjay Part 1 finds Katniss Everdeen in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of Commander Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.
All familiar faces are back: Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, etc. As well as Director Francis Lawrence who took over the series in “Catching Fire.” Personally, I like what Lawrence has brought to the series. The first film lacked grit and played more like a Disney movie. When Lawrence took over the helm he added some darkness and reality to what otherwise could have become a potential weak, children’s Sci Fi series, ala “Twilight.”
For the film itself, Mockingjay Part 1 is kind of a mixed bag. It provides glimpses of classic “Hunger Games” greatness while never really being able to shed the “part 1” aspect of itself. For me, the really appealing facet of past Hunger Games films was that journey to the games. I always felt a genuine scare for the characters leading up to the games in both 1 and 2 and that made you connect with them. This movie is missing that. The rebellion is starting to take place and we have collectively moved on from the games but with that change we lose our intimacy with the characters. Also considering Katness and Peeta are apart most of the film, feelings and emotions are brightly vacant. Its not a huge flaw that deters your experience but you can definitely tell; this is not your old Hunger Games.
But alas, end all be all Mockingjay part 1 is a good movie, not great by any means but good. It has all the necessary checkpoints. Cinematography and music do their jobs efficiently. The script will keep you entertained and guessing. The acting is really top notch as like the previous in the series and most noticeably, momentum and pacing is done really well.
Go see Mockingjay. It’s worth the price of admission and provides a good story (even if cut off at half point.) The truth really is: if your at all invested in The Hunger Games series then obviously, this is a must see. Unfortunately as of this point, Mockingjay 1 is easily the most “forgettable” movie of the series for me. It doesn’t mean it was bad, from from it. It just means it is exactly what it is, a film that gains tremendous momentum after slowly but surely developing it only to let you hit a brick wall. Intentionally.
To be honest, Mockingjay Part 1 is probably the weakest of the three so far, but if this is as bad as it gets, that is still something of a triumph.