(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 was disappointing to me. It may have a decent story and good acting, but this movie took a big step back from its predecessor. It barely had any action to suffice my expectations, and it is a prime example of a Hollywood trend in movies now that needs to stop. Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.
Let me start out by being clear on something. There is a big difference between the book and the film when it comes to storytelling. There are people who like to read the books then become disappointed with the movie. Another reason why I don’t really read, but rather watch. To me it is a lot more fun to see and get an enjoyment out of it. With the Hunger Games series, I haven’t read the books, but I have enjoyed watching the first two films. However Hollywood likes to make the most money they can by trying to extend the stories (I will explain more later). So my expectations were high for this movie, especially after how good Catching Fire was. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I will start with what I like, to the so so, to what I didn’t like.
What I like, the story and acting was actually decent. In a nutshell, Katniss Everdeen, played by the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence, has survived the events from the last movie Catching Fire. Unfortunately her home of District 12 has been destroyed, however, her family survived and her good friend Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth, has survived as well. Katniss now has become a symbol to start a rebellion against The Capital led by President Coriolanus Snow, played by Donald Sutherland, as a Mockingjay. Her role is to go out to the different districts inspiring them to go out and fight against The Capitol. While she is doing this, she is being filmed and sent out the videos to the other districts. It has become a success that a lot of people were willing to fight and even die for the rebel army. The story did kept my interest at least and made this movie at least respectable to watch.
The so so, in this movie they introduced a new character named President Alma Coin, played by Julianne Moore, who is the leader of the rebel army. The movie shows that she is a very smart person and doing what is right, however I though she lacked charisma in this movie. To me, a leader needs to have charisma to motivate her people to fight. Her speech in the end of the movie was ok, I really didn’t felt inspired from her speech. Maybe that’s why she needed Katniss as the Mockingjay, because she had more charisma than her. There one scene in particular in this movie that gave me the chills at first, but got completely taken away. It was the scene where a group of the rebel army managed to destroy The Capital’s power. So the rebel army decided to send a team to go rescue Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson, and the rest of the victors held captive at The Capital. During the whole process of the rescue mission it got me on the edge of my seat, almost how I felt when I was watching the final scene of Zero Dark Thirty. You don’t know (unless you read the book) what is going to happen. During that time Katniss was trying to distract President Snow through a video feed. However, President Snow tells her that her that he knows that her team is here and signs off. It left me tense to see what is going to happen, but instead the movie cuts to the morning and it turns out that not only everyone came back, including the rescued victors, but The Capital didn’t even put up a fight. That really left me scratching my head and was a moment killer for me. Of course they explained it which leads to my next rant.
What I didn’t like, the whole thing with Peeta I was asking myself, “Really now?” You have to know that Peeta was forced to say what The Capital wants him to say to try and prevent the rebellion. People calling him a traitor just really didn’t or refuse to understand what’s he going through. Only Katniss understood and I guess that was more than enough. So as they rescued Peeta we know why they just let him go. They pretty much brainwashed Peeta and used the venom to really mess with his mind for him to kill Katniss. It lead to a scene where he almost succeeded (the part where he attacks Katniss made me jump, not gonna lie). However, did The Capital really think that this plan was going to work. They have to know that other people would try to stop him from doing that. Which they did, so I’m thinking, that is a stupid plan. This leads up to an ending where you see Peeta going crazy strapped down on a flatbed, and roll credits. What the hell? You see, this is a trend that Hollywood is doing that really is pissing me off and it needs to stop. I have criticized big time for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for there cliffhanger ending, but at least the movie had good action from beginning to end. For this Hunger Games movie, it’s like they took a huge step back from their previous movie, and duped the people into paying this dramatic movie that I know many people didn’t expect and have to wait a full year to see what happens next. It is a ploy for Hollywood to make more money, and I blame this trend starting on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, but at least we only have to wait a few months to see what happens next. A full year is too long. This type of trend is good for a TV Series but not for a movie, and it really needs to stop. I’m tired of getting duped for my money.
Overall, this movie is a step back from a good series. I like to say that it is a calm before a storm, and this movie was a very big calm. What I would recommend if you haven’t seen the movie is to wait for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, watch the Part 1 on DVD or whatever, and then watch Part 2. Maybe that way we won’t be duped for our money by Hollywood again!!! Final Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.
(Sidenote-The Purge: Anarchy: This movie is a lot better than the first movie. It has a lot better action and a better story that wasn’t as sick or stupid like the first one. I liked the political undertones they have in this movie where the high class just wants to get rid of the low class, even if it means killing them off. (Which I believe that’s what they want, but I will save that for another discussion.) Frank Grillo playing Leo Barnes is pretty bad ass in this movie. The movie started off well, but then it got old in the middle of the movie. It gets to the point in why should I even care. But if you like a lot of violence then this is your movie. Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.)