So far, I have enjoyed The Hunger Games. I have to say that I am not much of a reader so I don’t know the ins and outs of the novels, but I am assured by my wife (who has read the books) that the films are being pretty faithful) and so its time to review the most recent part of the series, Mockingjay Part 1.
We left Katniss Everdeen firing an arrow into the sky and shattering the dome at the end of Catching Fire. Katniss and some of the other tributes were then rescued by The Resistance of District 13. Some, like Peeta were not rescued and were taken to The Capital. We begin our story here as she has trouble adapting to life as a rebel (although that is the point of her character and personality) and her initial reluctance to become the figurehead for the rebel fight back against President Snow and The Capital. Katniss must decide how far she is willing to go and she can only do this after seeing the devastation that her actions in the last film caused in the meantime. This spurs her into action and under the leadership of President Coin (the rebel leader), a deadly mission is undertaken to raid The Capital to rescue the remaining tributes.
Now I am guessing that the final part of the series has been split into two movies for financial reasons alone, but what I did find strange was the shortness of the film. I was well under the 2 hour mark. I expected it to be much longer which leads me to believe that the second part will be much longer to accommodate the final battles. Personally, I found this to be a pretty weak film and although it continues the story nicely, there isn’t that much happening here, and for me its been the poorest of the movies so far.
I also thought the performances were a lot weaker than they have been in the previous films and I found some of the characters pretty pointless, for example Cressida, played here by the excellent Natalie Dormer. In fact that entire group of people I didn’t connect with at all. A strange role for Natalie Dormer to take aswell in my opinion as it doesn’t really fit well with her; and what was with the character names of Pollux and Castor? Did the author watch Face Off the night before or something?
The action was pretty sparse in this movie aswell and it added to what was lacking as a movie for me in a series that I have really enjoyed before this film. I can only hope that the final installment gives us all the payoff that the series deserves and I look forward to seeing it later in the year, but for now I shall just say that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I probably should have. Woody Harrelson’s character was rarely seen in this movie, however Elizabeth Banks was again very good as Effie, the seemingly bubble-headed but secretly brilliant PR and fashion guru, who manages to make a complete wardrobe out of a single jump suit.. 😉