“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1“
Release Date: Friday November 21, 2014
Total Run Time: 123 Minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated “PG-13” for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Anyone considering attending “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” probably fits into one of two categories: you are either a fan of the first two movies, or a fan of both the books and (at least to some degree) the movies as well. While those of us who read and liked the books should enjoy “Mockingjay”, fans who just loved the action of the first two movies may find themselves somewhat disappointed.
The first two entries into this highly successful franchise were somewhat similar. Both of the first two films lay emotional groundwork before getting into the titular Hunger Games competition wherein most of the films’ action occurs. This time around, there are no Hunger Games, and there is less action.
All that is not to say “Mockingjay” is not entertaining. It is, it’s just different. The story starts where the last one ended. Katniss has just been rescued from the games and is taken to the underground District 13. There, she is recruited to become The Mockingjay, the symbol of hope and freedom for the rebellion, but she finds it difficult to overcome the emotional trauma that she has suffered, and her distrust of the people who want to make use of her.
More so than the first two films, this movie relies on the talents of its cast, and Jennifer Lawrence delivers. Her performance is heartfelt, nuanced, and restrained. You like her, pity her, and root for her. One of the things the film does cleverly is toy with your emotions while also making you aware that they are toying with your (and the fictional people of Panem’s) emotions. It is an effective commentary on the power of propaganda during war, and a balancing act that they could not have pulled off without Lawrence leading the way.
While it may not have been action packed, “Mockingjay part 1” effectively sets the stage for “Mockingjay Part 2”. Hopefully the final chapter can be a worthy conclusion to what has so far been an enjoyable franchise.
On the It’s An Ordinary Blog movie review scale from 1 to 10, where one is the worst, five is the best, and ten is the worst again: I give “Mockingjay: Part 1” a 5.523983908 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of: “Wow”.