I think that is a lot of the reason why I have been procrastinating when it comes to writing this review because I know that it will be considerably negative. Let's breathe - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One is a 2014 American science fiction war film directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay contributed by Peter Craig and Danny Strong. The film, like the franchise, is based on the book series written by Suzanne Collins. The film brings back the cast of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson,Elizabeth Banks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and more, likely with additions too, that I didn't notice.
I don't know what all of you have thought about The Hunger Games franchise so far, but I'll summarize my thoughts very fast. The first installment wasn't anything too amazing, but I appreciated aspects about it and it left me interested in a sequel. However, I found for Catching Fire to be a monumental improvement that upped the ante in a number of different ways. I can say that I was at least marginally excited for Mockingjay and I was curious where they would take it next.
The story continues with Katniss Everdeen finding herself as the symbol to a mass rebellion against the Capitol as she fights to save Peeta and the nation that has been moved by her courageousness. Unlike the other titles in the series, this go-around has nothing to do whatsoever with the Hunger Games, and has more to do with propaganda and lower-tier ripples between the District and the Rebellion before leading to the actual waves.
I think I basically summarize everything that is wrong with the first part of Mockingjay. The film takes us out of the games, although I would argue that the events leading up to them were always the more entertaining aspect of it, but doesn't offer us anything else. In the first two films, they maintained this idea about marketing and sponsors, they focused on propaganda and how important it is to present yourself a certain way. These themes are carried in a similar way with this new film, but they don't have anything else with them. I was bored for a lot of it, and not to say that it needed more action or anything, but I can actually look at that film and feel like nothing actually happened in it.
This doesn't feel at all like a full-length film, but feels more like half a film that has been stretched out to meet the qualifications for a film.
That's exactly what it is, mind you, but the fact that it actually feels like one is what's so detrimental to the viewing experience.
I feel like we're in a moment of calamity now, and that means the character themselves have been forced to take an immediate backseat. I admit that this is something that almost has to happen, but I don't think that it needed to happen to such an extent. I remember enjoying so many characters throughout the last two movies, and when I look back at this one, I can't remember liking anybody at all whatsoever from start to finish.
Jennifer Lawrence is back with the same capability that she had earlier, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman showed himself ready to make his final role count, but those aren't really enough to save it. The film just feels bland and boring like they read the book and made sure to leave out anything spectacular for the next one.
Looking back, the latest Hunger Games isn't as bad as I might have you believe with my rambling, but it is definitely a considerable misstep in the franchise. The film just feels like a very large trailer for the next one, and while it makes me feel comfortable in knowing that the fourth Hunger Games will be better, there isn't a whole lot this film has to say for itself.
Rating: Above Average