Friday, November 21, 2014

Movie Review - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1


Mockingjay - Part 1 is very different from the previous two Hunger Games movies, as avid readers will know, in that the Games are now over and revolution has taken its place. Peeta has been taken hostage by the Capitol, in a manner of speaking, and Katniss and her mother, sister, and Gale have taken refuge in district 13, which had once thought to be nonexistent. Because of this, I didn't enjoy Mockingjay as much as the last two films; however, it's definitely still worth seeing.

The President of District 13, President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his last remaining roles) want Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) to be the face of the revolution. They hope to entice more people to fight, and to rebel against the Capitol. Katniss is unsure if Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is still alive, until she sees a Capitol interview with him and Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), in which he appears robotic and changed. This is all due to President Snow (Donald Sutherland), of course, although Katniss and her team don't find out until later about the extent of his changes.

Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) has also been able to hack into the Capitol's broadcast system, and he is working on airing a series of events to the Capitol's citizens, so that they know the Capitol is evil. They try filming a staged promo with Katniss, who does not do well with that, so instead they send her and a team out to District 8 to help rally and motivate the people there; when the Capitol sees Katniss on camera there, they send fighter jets of sorts to attack, which only provokes her.

I was pleased to see that Mockingjay - Part 1 clipped along at a good pace - Part 1 movies (*cough Harry Potter cough*) tend to be slower and not as interesting as their Part 2 counterpart, usually. I've read the Hunger Games books but quite a while ago, so I can't really compare, but I thought the movie was interesting and it was nice to see all of our favorite characters on screen, though the people with the most screentime here tended to be Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, and Liam Hemsworth (Gale).

Yes, see this film. The screening was held in the new MJR Troy's Epic Experience theater, which I highly recommend (lots of leg room and also a huge screen). It will be interesting to see if this movie will be as much of a smash hit as the former two, though I'm sure it will be, when you take into account the movie fans plus fans of the book. The next installment, Mockingjay - Part 2, will be in theaters on November 20, 2015, so luckily we only have a year to wait until the next movie - though it will be bittersweet to see this series end, as I've definitely enjoyed it so far.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 is in theaters today, November 21st, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 123 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.


{To read my previous Hunger Games reviews, click here and here}

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