Very few new releases came out this past Friday, as it seems very few movie makers were willing to go up against the third installment of the Hunger Games. Considering the fact that the last wildly successful movie ended in a cliff hanger, it’s not surprising that the continuation is crushing it at the box office.
In Mockingjay, we again meet up with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) shortly after she straight up wrecked the giant Hunger Games bubble. She travels to the highly secretive District 13, where she meets up with President Colin (Julienne Moore), while the District prepares for war….that we really won’t get to see because they split the last movie into two separate movies.
I’m going to say it. It was a cheap, sleazy move. Yes, it worked for Twilight, but that was because the final book in the Twilight series was twice as long as the other books and had two distinct parts. This was not the case with the novel Mockingjay was based on. In fact, it might have actually been shorter than the first two books.
So enter a whole butt-load of fluff and fodder to force this into a two parter, no matter how unnecessary. There’s lots of sitting around in war rooms, strategizing and trying to figure out how to cash in on Katniss’ reluctant hero routine. Much of it feels repetitive and dragged out. This movie is by no means as exciting as the first two.
I’m going to say this, despite my love for the lead in this film. Jennifer Lawrence, you’re getting too old for this sh@t. When the star signed on for the trilogy, she was still in the ingénue stage and was perfect for the part. But after several years, and many more mature rolls, I’m just not feeling it anymore.
The action scenes are played out. Every single district looks the same, as Katniss scales piles of bones and rubble, all while looking sad and world weary.
The late great Phillip Seymour Hoffman is featured heavily in this film, and his sardonic commentary helps break of the monotony. In addition, they’ve added in Elizabeth Banks’ character, though she’s been deglamorized. Both are a welcome breath of air in a heavy movie that felt a bit more like Wag the Dog then an adaptation of a dystopian young adult novel.
The movie ends on a sour note, with Katniss not even taking part in the most exciting battle scene. Well, I mean, she watches it on a TV, but it’s not really the same as watching her going all “Rambo with a Bow”. Again, this was a result of splitting the movie. Looks like we’re going to have to wait for the unnecessary fourth installment to see her in action.
While not as exciting as the first two, Mockingjay Part 1 still carries forward the same SE quality and acting chops, so it’s not a total letdown. Let down least of all are the producers, who raked in an impressive $120 million on the opening weekend.
WE GAVE IT: 3.5 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!