This is the Hunger Games without any Hunger Games.
This first installment of the two-part Hunger Games finale is packed full of the drama, angst and politics we’ve come to expect from the franchise, but it is severely lacking in the bow and arrow action heroes stakes we have come to know and love. Now, I must confess to being a fan of the book trilogy and knew what I was getting into when watching the movie. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to be good, and I was pleasantly surprised. I knew from the books that Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) survive the Quarter Quell Hunger Games of the second movie, and Katniss is taken to the rebellious District 13. She is joined by a motely group of unlikely heroes such as Haymitch (Woody Harrelson); Effie (Elizabeth Banks) and, Plutarch (the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman). The story here in this dystopian country of Pan Am concentrates mostly on the political upheaval caused by Katniss’s rebellion and the rise of her as the symbol of hope in a war-torn country. The manipulations of Plutarch and rebel president Coin (Julieanne Moore) thrust the reluctant and shell-shocked Katniss into the spotlight, where she becomes the target of the villainous President Snow (played menacingly-well by Donald Sutherland). We finally get to see handsome Gale (Liam Hemsworth ) have a chance to vie for Katniss’s affections, but the opportunity is missed through a lack of emotional connection between him and Katniss. Either that or it is the garlic the actor admits to eating as a joke before his close scenes with Lawrence. (What a mean trick!) Yet,Katniss’s heart seems to lie more with rescuing Peeta – who is the prisoner of Snow in the Capital.
What is it with producers today who seem unable to make the final of a series into one straight movie: think Twilight, the Hobbit, Harry Potter? Undoubtedly, it is related to box office takings, because it certainly doesn’t work in this overly long introduction to the real Mockingjay story.
OK, if you want to know whether to fork out the cash for the movie, here you go…
1. You’ve never seen or read a Hunger Games installment – do not try this one.
2. You only like the Hunger Games for the thrill of the chase – do not try this one.
3. You have read the books, seen the movies and love it all – go and see it. You may love it, or you may be a little ho-hum about it, but you’ll want to see this before the undoubtedly action-packed finale.
Despite its lack of ‘Hunger Games’ and a dragged out plot caused by splitting one smallish novel into two movies, I still give Mockingjay Part 1 a score of 4 stars for some fabulous acting and heart-felt drama scenes.
So the questions remain for the final installment next year:
Will the producers manage to finish the film without the pivotal Plutarch character?
Will the Capital erupt in a sea of rebellion from the united districts?
Will director Francis Lawrence stick with the same (in my opinion) unsatisfying ending we read in Suzanne Collins’s novel?
For these answers and many more…tune in next year for the finale.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is now showing at cinemas.
About the Author
Kasper J. Beaumont was born and raised in Australia and lives a quiet life with the family in a seaside town. Combining a love of fantasy and a penchant for travel in the Hunters of Reloria trilogy, Kasper started to write on the urging of friends and family and enjoys watching readers become immersed in the magical world of Reloria. Kasper is a pen name for a rather shy author who is happy to remain unnamed.
Kasper can be found on the Internet at http://goo.gl/dAsqDP
Do try out her books, they’re amazing!
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