Movie Review – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

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Picking up immediately after the previous movie Catching Fire (you can read my review here) ends, Katniss (Lawrence) wakes up to a brand new world. She is understandably confused when she discovers she has woken up in the long thought destroyed District 13. Greeted by Plutarch (Hoffman) and District 13 President Coin (Moore), she is informed of all that has happened and given some major decision to make.

The most important decision is…… will she become the ‘Mockingjay’, the beacon of hope for the rebellion that is gaining ground in all the Districts.

To unite the Districts, they need propaganda of sorts and while trying to film Katniss, it becomes apparent that what is compelling about her cannot be faked. She is sent out into the field (so to speak) with a camera crew to try to re-capture the fire that has ignited all the Districts against the Capitol.

The Capitol retaliates with its own hero….Peeta. He is the face of their propaganda and it almost destroys Katniss. When this doesn’t work, the Capitol begins to bomb innocents and this becomes the catalyst for Katniss to resume her fight.

And so the rebellion begins …

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At this point, it’s rather unnecessary to elaborate further on the story. The rebellion of the Districts against the Capital is the promise from the very first novel and this movie….. part 1 of a 2 part finale …. is the foundation movie. I won’t discuss the merits *coughs* or the pitfalls of this sudden move by so many to split the final movies in trilogy’s / series etc into two parts.

Okay I so I will just a little. For Harry Potter it worked. So many elements needed to be dealt with properly to enable the series to be completed with any semblance of sanity. This attempt to make more money  fully realise the trilogy fails. What could have been an exciting finale to this wonderful story has been lost. Honestly, I would have preferred a 3 hour-long epic to this mediocre offering.

How that’s not to say that this movie is without merit. Absolutely not. Lawrence, as usual, holds it all together…..and she does it very, very well. I loved seeing more of Gale (Hemsworth, you can never have too much of a Hemsworth) and the introduction of Cressida (Dormer, one of my favourite actresses) was very welcome.

This is a good movie on its own. There are no Hunger Games this time round,  so it is far more drama driven that the other two. It is used to set up the finale well but stopped short of being the amazing movie that it’s predecessors were. The final scene, far from being the breathtaking finales we are used to with this franchise, literally seems like someone just yelled cut and everyone went home. It was disappointing.

If you are a Hunger Games fan, this is a must see…..if not, maybe wait for the DVD.

3 stars out of 5

Love Flick xx

Director :  Francis Lawrence

Starring :  Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour-Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Mahershala Ali, Natalie Dormer

Running Time :  123 minutes

Release Date :  20 November 2014

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