Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)

Mockinjay 1.jpgStars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks
Director:  Francis Lawrence

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Please Note: The Following May Contain Spoilers (But I Tried Hard Not To)

I do enjoy how this movie started at the exact moment that the previous one ended because damn that cliff hanger though. Air lifting an unconscious Katniss out of the hunger games stadium as it collapsed around her and then the realisation that they saved her and not Peeta wow wasn’t that a great scene. And now here we are in district 13 where Katniss is in a recovery wing suffering from nightmares then finds out that the Capital doesn’t just have Peeta and also btw your home has been destroyed but hey cool won’t you be out hero?

You just have to feel for Katniss hey, she has been through so much and yet here’s this other president who is like yeah hi we need a champion oh and btw the Game Keeper yeah he’s my plus one and I’m a good president you can trust me……oh man I had red flags from the first moment I ever met this President Coin character (Julianne Moore) be it in the book or in the movies. I just knew there was something off about her. For the longest time I just thought it was because she kept challenging Katniss and treating her like a child or refusing to let her actually do anything except be a picture for her videos but……oh wait no spoilers.

If I thought that film 2 had stepped up on the darkness factor then this one obliterates it. Honestly just the scene alone of Katniss going to district 12 and seeing all the destruction and bodies of the people who didn’t get out is enough to take this down 10 notches of misery but then add in the hospital and what the capitol does to that and yeah the darkness is complete. Don’t get me wrong the characters are still witty and themselves and there is fun and humour throughout but even Effie in no makeup, a headscarf and coveralls really shows that so much has changed.Mockingjay 2

Two final comments before I move on from this to the finale. When they first announced that the final book in this trilogy was going to be split into 2 movies I remember thinking it was such a money making scam and the studios were just dragging it out for as long as possible. Having now seen the end result I am genuinely happy. It gave the strong story and themes in this final story the time it really needed. I think if you compressed it all into 1 movie it would have felt really rushed and not as strong. So ok studios you won this time….I approve just don’t do it too often.

Secondly, Philip Seymour Hoffman. This was the film he passed away during filming and there was a memorial note at the end (sob sob). He was just so great as the Game Keeper character with his ability to portray a character who you knew was always playing the game and his brilliant facial expressions just let you know that every piece was constantly going exactly as he planned. In this movie and any other I have seen him in, it was always a pleasure to see his skill and ability and watching this movie reminded me all again how sad it is that he is gone but we have movies like this forever to re-watch his talent over and over.

My Score: 7/10

Watch If You Like: The Hunger Games or Catching Fire….and if you haven’t seen them to know then why are you reading this review???


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