I seem to notice a trend with movies lately. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows was split into two parts. Breaking Dawn was split into two parts. The Hobbit was split into three parts (it’s different!). It seems like when a book series is about to end their theatrical run, movie studios just have to split the story into multiple parts. Is it because they want to include every juicy detail from the book (not likely). Or are they trying to milk the viewing public out of more money (most probably). Either way, I don’t think the trend is going to end anytime soon.
The latest book to movie series to do it is the eagerly anticipated final act of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay. I loved the first two movies. I wonder will I enjoy the end of the trilogy… wait. Is it still a trilogy. Anyway…
If you’re wondering if I’ll reveal anything about the film, don’t worry. Like stated in the title, this review of Mockingjay is going to be incredibly SPOILER FREE! Read on to your heart’s content!
Mockingjay leaves off where pretty much where Catching Fire ends. Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) is rescued from the games arena and brought to the rebels encampment. They want her to be the Mockingjay, a symbol for the revolution against the Capitol and something the common folk can rally around. She hesitantly agrees as long as they rescue Peeta and the other Victors at the soonest possible chance.
I guess the first thing I have to mention is that Mockingjay (Part 1 anyway) is very different from the previous two Hunger Games movies as it, well, doesn’t have any Hunger Games anymore! Yes, they don’t get people to fight to the death anymore. Honestly, it was kind of a bummer for me at the start as, like I mentioned I loved the previous two films in the series! I love the aspect of having to fight for your life in a tournament. I love the tense atmosphere every time they to begin the Hunger Games. But the stakes are actually higher in Mockingjay as we’re talking about taking down an evil dictatorship! But my favorite aspect of the Hunger Games were the actual games so I was kinda disappointed.
This shift in direction does make the entire Hunger Games world seem bigger and more lived in. Now that we’re not confined to just District 12, the Capitol and the Hunger Games arena, we can finally see the entire place and all of the people. Unfortunately, that’s not an entirely good thing. As you do notice there are more people, Mockingjay seems to be filled with more characters. While we may have met them before in the other two films (for example, Gale and Prim), we never really got to know them all that much.
Throughout the entire 2-hour runtime of Mockingjay, the only person I cared for was Katniss Everdeen. After all, she is the main characters. But I know I should feel something for the other people in her life. But since I never became familiar with them, I didn’t really care for them. And that’s a bad thing! I know I’m supposed to feel like I know them but I simply don’t because they weren’t in the previous films all that much! Whenever they were put in harms way in Mockingjay, I didn’t care!
However, the biggest problem of Mockingjay: Part 1 is that nothing really happens! The movie may be 2-hours long (20 minutes shorter than both the first two Hunger Games films) but the entire middle portion of the film felt like filler. These are probably things that were in the book but I felt they could’ve cut them out. It felt like the director needed to extend Part 1 to fill up an entire movie, which they did.
Wow. Just reading what I wrote… it makes it seem like I hated The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1. But I didn’t! For the most part, I liked it. The political intrigue and propaganda is actually enjoyable if you’re into that sort of thing (which I am). It’s nice to finally see the world for what it is rather than just seeing it through the lens of the Capitol and the citizens of District 12. The action sequence during the last third of the film was actually intense. I just felt that the movie could’ve been a bit tighter.
This is why I hate it when they break up a movie into two parts. The ending of the movie just ends abruptly and makes you want to see what happens in the next installment. This movie is essentially just building up to the exciting parts of Part 2. It did make me eager to see what will happen in the last film as all of the events that happen here seem to be leading up to something that doesn’t happen. It’s kind of a letdown.
I do recommend the movie, especially if you loved the previous two films (like I did). I just don’t recommend it too high. I’d say it’s better to wait to watch it just a few weeks before Part 2 comes out. Don’t worry. You won’t be missing much.
What’s your opinion on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1? Let me know what you think of the film in the comments section below.