Thursday, March 12, 2015

Join the Revolution

Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Picking up where Catching Fire left off, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) takes place in District 13, the once forgotten district containing refugees of fallen districts before it. Once Katiness (Jennifer Lawrence) awakens from her coma she is told her former homestead that was District 12 was destroyed by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) following the rebellion she reluctantly lead.

Under the leadership of District 13 President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, uses the courage she's shown during the games to become the symbol of the rebellion for the remaining districts of Panem, with one caveat: To rescue Peeta and the other Hunger Games victors currently held against their will at the Capitol.
Now to be honest, I'm an avid movie watcher and haven't read a page of the books these movies are adapted from. The first movie was entertaining enough for me to actually go see in theaters, but much like the Twilight movies, the excitement stops there. Surely Catching Fire was better than I expected, but there was a bit of a drop that gave me the impression that I didn't need to see any further sequels of this franchise on the big screen. It became obvious once Lionsgate announced they were splitting this last installment into two parts, that this franchise has become a cash cow for them. Mockingjay is nothing special, an excessively long melodrama that refused to follow the premise of the former two movies, which was to intrigue and entertain from one scene to another.
See the expression on her face? Even she's uncertain about this film.

Slow to arrive at a possible climax-inducing cliffhanger, the director seemed to miss the potential for a meatier action sequence. There were, however, some good scenes of the rebels fighting for their freedom but they were more of a exposition than anything else.

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967-2014
Unfortunate fault to this film chapter's downfall, was it's subtle cash grab strategy of being split into two movies. Obviously this shouldn't come to surprise anyone, the first half is supposed to recreate our main character to become a heroine against the ruthless ruler of Panem. There wasn't much to see here, although it was refreshing to see the story shift from the arena type games to a more realistic battle of the empire. It's lack of action seemed to bore more than entertain, which doesn't make much sense for a movie, which was created to entertain. We can only hope the second half of this chapter in The Hunger Games novel will offer a lot more gripping action and drama, but still will be nothing I'm going to bother seeing on day one.

Rating: 6/10
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) on IMDb

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