Film: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – middling installment
The Hunger Games returned in 2014 to not only lengthen the surprisingly good franchise but also sadly waste our time. This nonsensical trend, begun by Harry Potter, to stretch the final installment across two chapters is both demeaning to the narrative and the audience.
Mockingjay Part 1, whilst shot very well and containing some development was a middling installment that did very little to build anticipation for the finale. Mockingjay Part 1 was absent of any action and tension the first two features beckoned. Instead we are given increasingly annoying sequences one of which sees Katniss repeat ‘Snow’ for what seems like a hundred times – presumably to kill time and milk its rabid fanbase for all its worth.
The saving grace for Mockingjay Part 1 is its finale but even this bites the hand it feeds. We learn that Peeta has been whim and victim to Snow’s torture and programmed to kill Katniss. The revelation was extremely well done but made me want to watch that movie, not the one I was given. I was more compelled by Peeta’s plight and transformation than of Katniss from survivor to inspirational figurehead.
The irony of Mockingjay Part 1 was its central focus on rallying the districts against Snow using marketing and persuasion tactics. The film, however, could not practice what it preached and instead delivered a decidedly numb installment in an otherwise enjoyable and important franchise.
I still remain excited for Mockingjay Part 2. As far as I am concerned the Hunger Games series has provided us with two very competent and enjoyable films. Mockingjay Part 1 is but a blip on the successful radar.
Score – C-