After the events of ‘Catching Fire’, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is now safely ensconced in the underground rebel hideout of District 13, and has been shanghaied by its leader (Moore) to be the spearhead of a publicity campaign to lead the other districts in an all out rebellion against the evil President Snow (Sutherland) and his totalitarian government.
Director: Frances Lawrence
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland.
In past i have not exactly been backward in coming forward with my dislike of Hollywood’s never ending obsession with adapting young adult novels into films. To say the least i hated Divergent, loathed The Mortal Instruments and don’t even get me started on the bloody Twilight series.
Despite this however – i have always liked the Hunger Games. Both the previous two entries were extremely well made, superbly written, relentlessly exciting and featured very strong performances from the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland. Indeed i am pleased to say that Mockingjay has all of this – but – and its a big but – its only half a film (the other half is due next year) and maddeningly ends very abruptly just when it moves into high gear and starts to get interesting.
Ok I can understand why the studio cut it in two – they wanted to make more money, which makes complete sense from a business point of view – but in doing so they have completely and utterly short changed the audience, who will now have to cough up more money in 2015 in order to see how the whole thing ends. Now in the past this has been necessary – The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies had way too much story to tell in anything less than 3 films a piece, and frankly I didn’t mind shelling out to see them as they were all brilliant (i haven’t yet seen the 3rd Hobbit film as its out later in December). I could even see the point of splitting Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in to two parts, as again the book is just too big for one film.
However with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay this was a totally unnecessary move, as a great deal of its story is nothing more than padding and window dressing for all the good stuff (i.e. fighting) that is going to happen in the next film. Indeed on reflection i completely struggled to see the point of it all. There isn’t that much action, the story doesn’t really move forward and as good as she is, Jennifer Lawrence is given very little to do other than mope and incessantly worry about Hutcherson and Hemsworth.
Don’t get me wrong i did like Mockingjay – but because its only half a film i truly am at a loss as to how to properly review it, so just this once i am not going to give it any stars at all because until i see part 2 next year its going to be impossible to form a proper opinion about it.
Author: Will Strong