Monday, 15 December 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

UK Release Date: November 20th 2014

When Katniss destroys the games, she goes to District 13 after District 12 is destroyed. She meets President Coin who convinces her to be the symbol of rebellion, while trying to save Peeta from the Capitol.

Director: Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I Am Legend, Constantine)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Natalie Dormer

This franchise is feeling the strain that Harry Potter and Twilight have felt before. Part 1 of all three franchises are weaker than their predecessors, and in HP and Twilight's case, far weaker than part 2. This remains to to be seen for The Hunger Games until late next year, when it finally comes to an end. 

There's two reasons why they'd split the last book into two. The first is the final book is usually the biggest, and to pack so much detail in to one film won't do it justice. The second, and the most beneficial to the studios is the money. Some of us might moan about this, but we're too intrigued to bypass a viewing at the local cinema. 

The quarter quell has come to an end. Katniss (Lawrence) has been saved by President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the survivors of District 13. Peeta (Hutcherson) on the other hand, is in the clutches of the capitol. Katniss, after much dilapidation, becomes the face of the District's (13) fight against the Capitol, otherwise known as the Mockingjay. Peeta is the Capitol's tool to get back at the districts. What ensues for the next 123 minutes is a battle of wits through propaganda and media stunts. 

Katniss is able to rally the other districts into joining the rebellion, but finds she's doing less than the people she's rousing. Jennifer Lawrence may be the saving grace in this film, building the suspense when it's needed with some fine acting, but has little to do than watch, observe and speak. Credit goes to Julianne Moore and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman's Plutarch, who breathes new (and old) life in to the series.

If you've read the last book then you'll be pleased with this film's outcome. Some characters (Effie, Caesar, Haymitch) are now intermittent ones. With Peeta out of Katniss's reach, it's time for her and Gale (Hemsworth) to reacquaint. Katniss is constantly torn by her affections for both men. Now would be a great time to develop this like the book does. Time spent with Gale has made us care for him more than the Capitol's manipulated Peeta.

Catching Fire had us by the throat a thousand times over. Mockingjay Part 1 is a slow burner, with little character development and little action. You'll be wanting even more by the end of this one.

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