Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Review

Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Review

Before I proceed to the review, I would like to first introduce you to my rating scale. There are four different levels. Below is each level in order from best to worse and what each one means.

Must Own = A movie that is so good that I must add it to my Blu-ray collection when it comes out.

Would Accept as a Gift = I enjoyed the movie but don’t necessarily have to buy it (especially if I don’t have the funds to) myself but I would take it if someone bought it for me.

Might Rent = A movie that if I have the urge to watch again then I’ll just rent it from somewhere or Netflix it.

Never See Again = Very simple. I don’t want to ever see this movie again.

Alright now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1review.

 

First Words

I expected this entry in the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise to be my least favorite just because the jig has been up on these movies being split into 2 parts. We’ve all known since the beginning that studios are doing it for the money and not in order to do the story, that is being told, justice. It’s cool, I completely understand, I get it. But we all know how the first part of those movies will turn out to be. ‘Mockingjay – Part 1’, in a way, is no exception.

Plot

Taking place not long after the events of ‘Catching Fire’, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is now in District 13 trying to deal with being the face of rebellion all while still being fragile from being in the games and what has happened to her home in District 12.On top of being the face of President Coin’s (Julianne Moore) rebellion, she must also figure out how to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) from the Capitol.

Yeah I Liked That

So let’s get it out the way with, I am one of those many people who loves me some Jennifer Lawrence. So usually I’m going to be a fan of most of the things that she does. With ‘Mockingjay Part 1’ having her lead the way again, the movie already had me on it’s side. It does help that Lawrence did a great job in the movie as well (she usually does so no surprise here). Although I’m sure many people can’t relate to what exactly her character is going through, I believe she did a spot on job portraying a mentally fragile individual who is basically forced into being the face of a rebellion. She’s putting those Oscar award winning skills to work!

The movie itself lacked the amount of action and (sick) excitement the previous two ‘Hunger Games’ movies had but what it lacked, it tried to make up in the tone it set. Francis Lawrence (the director for those of you who don’t know) did a great job with some of his shots to give off the disturbing mood that’s around Panem. On top of that, this is up there with ‘Catching Fire’, visually, as the best looking movie of the 3. So this time around, the inhabitants of District 13  were doing a lot of talking about what needs to be done but you get the feeling of real belief that it is indeed going to happen.

Now lets move on to Mr. Liam Hemsworth or, as the movie likes to call him, Gale. I know he is soooooo happy that his character finally gets to do something this time around. It took 3 movies but it happened! No more movies where Gale is just watching Katniss on some screen running for her life or kissing Peeta. He actually gets to hold weapons and be apart of some important moments. So I applaud the movie for getting some use out of Mr. Hemsworth.

Now before I move onto the next section I want to quickly mention that the speech given by President Coin at the end was great for the movie because it really gives you a slight glimpse at what Part 2 will show viewers in terms of where the story actually goes…that’s not a spoiler for those who don’t know what happens in the book.

Yeah I Didn’t Like That

There wasn’t much I disliked about ‘Mockingjay – Part 1’. What I disliked is what I expected not to like. This movie was basically a glorified tease for the next part that we will see next November. If they really wanted to, they could of found a way to make both parts into 1 movie and trim down most of what was in this to make it work. But that was expected so I won’t spend much time on that. I will say, though, that I didn’t like the focus on the rebellion propaganda commercials they were shooting. I know it was needed for the story but they were just another reminder that Part 2 is going to be way better than this movie. I mean those commercials actually looked like teaser trailers for ‘Mockingjay – Part 2’. Before I even seen this first part, I excepted what it was going to be like so please don’t add on more elements that actually seem like legit teases. Also, I expected to see a cliffhanger scene at the end but I also expected to be a better one. I wanted something on the level of ‘Catching Fire’ or something that better teased whats going to happen in the next part.

Now I can’t go a review without mentioning my main man Peeta. Mr. I got stabbed in the leg, Mr. I get captured by the Capitol, Mr. I’m always on the verge of dying until Katniss carries me from poisonous fog or someone else saves me from something else.  Yep that guy. He goes through a lot but at least he was always apart of the action (unlike Gale). This time around it’s like him a Gale switched spots in a way. Peeta was left to just only be in the movie when he’s being interviewed by Caesar (Stanley Tucci) and telling the rebels to chill with those storming of the Capitol plans. It might be part of the book but that is one of the downfalls of splitting 1 book into 2 parts; Some characters get wasted. The movie did try to make it up in the end by having Peeta have his crazy outburst while he looked like a legit meth head or Matthew McConaughey from ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. But that couldn’t save the fact that it just felt like poor Peeta was wasted away this time around.

Last Words

‘Mockingjay – Part 1’ did a better set up job then the likes of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1’ and ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1’ (actually it could of showed Katniss standing in one place for 2 hours and it still would of been better than ‘Breaking Dawn’). Can’t wait for the grand finale that awaits a year from now. Comment below with your thoughts on the movie or with your thoughts about my thoughts on the movie. Oh yeah, R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman.

RATING:  Must Own (Although I believed this was a great movie, I probably would of gave it the same rating if it was lackluster just because I’m a fan of the franchise and of Ms. Lawrence.)

 

(Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1951265)

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