The courage of one will change the world; a review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

jennifer-lawrence-katniss-everdeen

FYI, the song Jennifer Lawrence sings in the middle of the movie is currently #2 on iTunes so… Yeah.

Just a little bit of background on my feelings towards this series as a whole: I read the first two books – The Hunger Games and Catching Fire – and then read the third novel, Mockingjay, and put it down after the first thirty pages because it was the most boring thing I’d ever read. So naturally, I wasn’t too thrilled to see this movie since it was undoubtedly going to be those thirty pages blown way out of proportion because the book isn’t that long. Let’s just say I wasn’t entirely wrong. Also, if you haven’t read/seen the first two books/movies, I will warn you that there will be SPOILERS for those two stories.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 starts right where The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) left off with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) en route to District 13 where the resistance against the Capitol and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is located; and that’s kinda where they stay the entire movie. Yes, there are a few scenes here and there where Katniss and her team go to different districts, but the main plot points really unfold in this shelter underground.

At the end of the second film, it was revealed that Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) was taken by the Capitol to use as a face of their propaganda against the resistance. So naturally, the rebels in District 13 use Katniss as the face of their rebellion in their propaganda pieces and the movie becomes these two slam campaigns as Katniss and Peeta go back and forth on televisions. Except it’s very obvious that Peeta is doing this against his will, so it really doesn’t weigh in as much. I mean I thought it was cool to see this slam propaganda because it’s a very relatable technique used even today when it comes to politics; but when there’s a clear cut good guy and bad guy in this series, you really don’t care about the bad guys’ campaign because you know President Snow is a terrible human being. Also the fact that I don’t care about Peeta’s safety plays into this as well, which leads into my next argument.THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 1

I don’t think I care about any of the characters in this movie other than Katniss. They’ve spent the past two films exploring Katniss’ moral compass and at the same time introducing these various characters but not exploring them at all. I don’t care about Peeta. I don’t care about Gale (Liam Hemsworth). I don’t care about Haymitch (Woody Harrelson). While the action scenes are cool in this movie (One scene in particular towards the end), I would have been a lot more invested if I cared whether or not these characters died. Especially when Katniss, the one character I do care about, isn’t involved in the action and is sidelined for 10 minutes of the film!

I know that this is all leading into some huge final confrontation at the end, but that’s the problem with splitting this short novel into two movies: I just spent two hours building up for next year; but I didn’t get anything in this movie to keep me going. The difference between this first half of a final book and something like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) is that the latter had enough beats and enough plot points in the first half to keep me invested in these characters. Not to mention the Harry Potter books developed their characters much more than the Hunger Games books did.

I wouldn’t call The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 a COMPLETE waste of my time because I didn’t pay full price for a ticket. The movie left me on somewhat of a cliffhanger because I do want to discover Katniss’ fate at the end of this story; but like I said I don’t care about any of these other characters in any way shape or form. Yet I’ll still probably pay to see the last movie next year.

Overall rating: 5/10 – average

I compare this movie to starting a hot rod after it stalls out on you for two hours, then when you finally get the engine revving, you just turn it off and get out of the car.

-Reed

@Were_Not_Sorry <– I swear to God it’s worth it.

IMAGES: http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1935178.1410379010!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_1200/jennifer-lawrence-katniss-everdeen.jpg, http://imageserver.moviepilot.com/jennifer_lawrence_in_hunger_games_mockingjay-wide-the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-1-movie-review.jpeg?width=2880&height=1800, http://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/hunger7.jpg

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