Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MINI-REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay Part 1

Jennifer Lawrence,
Josh Hutcherson


November 21, 2014

Francis Lawrence


2 hours 3 minutes



After a really good introduction to a series and an even better follow-up, I think it's pretty safe to say that "The Hunger Games" series is as good as it is faithful to the source material.  Needless to say, after "Catching Fire" came out last year I was immediately excited for "Mockingjay."  Then again, I was already excited for it having read all three of the books written so well by Suzanne Collins.  I also happen to enjoy final installments when they're split into two films, a prime example being "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1."  There have been a decent amount of people complaining about how this film merely was just here to set up for the action-packed adventure that "Mockingjay Part 2" is going to be.  Honestly speaking, that's exactly what I was expecting from this movie.  And being the fan of "Mockingjay" that I am, I can happily say that "Part 1" is a satisfying and accurate portrayal of what I believe is a satisfying conclusion for this series.

Jennifer Lawrence keeps on impressing with every movie she's in, and her performance here is no exception.  The same goes for other cast members such as Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, and Liam Hemsworth, who all bring their A-game here.  Julianne Moore is great as President Coin, Donald Sutherland is menacing as ever as President Snow, and it's great to see that the late and great Phillip Seymour Hoffman's talents weren't wasted here.  Looking back on the film as a whole, I have absolutely nothing wrong with it.  The action was well-paced and intense, the political aspect of this impending war between the Capital and District 13 is extremely engaging, and overall the movie is just fantastic.  Some may be turned off at this being "the appetizer before the main course," so to speak, but for me this was a great set up to an even heavier and more emotional finale to a series that I've begun to respect more and more after each film.  At the end of the day, I think "Mockingjay Part 1" isn't just a great sequel and great buildup to a sure to be spectacular conclusion, but I just think it's a great movie in general.

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