Review: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1
I love The Hunger Games movies, (the books are still on my to-read list) so I was excited to toddle off to the cinema for the next action packed instalment of the franchise, Mockingjay Part 1.
Our hero and my personal girl crush, Jennifer Lawrence, returned as Katniss Everdeen and we join her in District 13 after she literally shattered the games. She is convinced to join their fight against the Capital and to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) from President Snow. This all sounds fine and dandy – a few explosions, a couple of near misses and she is emotionally reunited with Peeta. Right? Wrong. The book as we all know has been split in two but really in my opinion, if they just squeezed it all in to one movie and filed down some of the more boring parts, then it would have been a better movie all round.
There is a lot of ‘setting the scene’ going on but really, it isn’t needed. We get it, their world is in tatters and they must join up in rebellion under their reluctant mascot Katniss but do we need to see every piece of rubble and every ounce of destruction in the long and drawn out attempt to convince her to fight with them? Honestly, it was a pretty average movie. I didn’t predict some bits and they may have shocked me just a little as I was drifting off through other bits. You would think that would balance it out but the movie as a whole felt longer than it was (it has a run time of 122 minutes) and definitely longer than it should have been.
Being set predominately in a cave-like structure didn’t help matters. The tension could have been built more effectively here, surely cabin fever would have struck for some of the District 13 locals by now? Katniss is no longer the relatable underdog and she’s living in a heavily fortified bunker full of missiles and fighter planes with her loyal fans swooning at her feet.
The jump from the last film to this just doesn’t quite do it for me. However, the political subtext is obvious – Katniss becomes not just a rebel but a leader with a crew and a powerful PR team. This, in my opinion, makes the franchise smart and I like that it isn’t dumbed down for younger fans without coming across as pretentious.
This movie is a slow burner, it’s grey and meandering and a a lot of the sets blend together. Compare it to the previous films and this is a clear loser in design alone.
Photos c/o theenquirer.co.uk