The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Review

Reviews Films




Katniss Everdeen may have survived two Hunger Games, but can she survive a third film?

I remember going to see the first HUNGER GAMES movie:  The media screening was practically empty. I didn’t have to fight my beloved AccessReel colleagues for the tickets. There was little hype (among those who hadn’t read the books atleast!)

The budget was relatively modest, the special effects were lacking, but there was something about the film… something that captured me.

The second flick impressed me again. With the world in a Katniss frenzy, the studio threw more money it’s way. The film was grander, bolder. But it still had the same heart as it’s predecessor. Topped off with an awesome cliffhanger ending, I was primed and ready for instalment number three…though it appears I’ll have to wait for the final chapter to feel fully satisfied.

MOCKINGJAY PART 1 follows Katniss after being pulled from the dome. Riddled with guilt at leaving Peeta behind, and under pressure to step up as the face of the impending revolution, Katniss is having a bit of a dreary time.  It calls for lots of watery eyes and sulking (perfect film for a drinking game: When Katniss cries, drink. You’ll be plastered in 15 minutes)

Haymitch and Effie have joked in previous films about Katniss’ lack of likeability and it’s at an all time high here. With few opportunities for her to be feisty and kick butt, and with no Peeta to warm our hearts with his wounded puppy dog looks, it’s easy to feel just a little shortchanged.

This is what you could call a bridge film. MOCKINGJAY PART 1 feels as though it’s simply setting up for the big one.

While I can forgive this, I can’t help but ask: If there were three books, why make four movies if it’s only going to result in a lackluster flick? It’s not a bad film by any means, but it’s definitely a bit flat. Essentially there’s 30minutes worth of plot stretched thin across two hours.

Great moneymaking…but not so great filmmaking.

That being said, there are some likeable moments. The return of Katniss’ mentors is like welcoming back old friends, and the climactic rescue mission is tense, albeit a little understated.

There are some nice additions to the cast, notably Julianne Moore as District 13’s President Coin, and Liam Hemsworth finally gets an opportunity to show his worth.

It was fun to return to the world of Panem, however it’s a pretty forgettable movie. A sort of stepping stone that will hopefully get us to where we want to go.

For me personally, the power in THE HUNGER GAMES comes from it’s awesome action and the loveable Peeta (he’s so cute! Look at his little face! Awww!). MOCKINGJAY PART 1 didn’t have nearly enough of either. It’s enjoyable, but not nearly up to the same standard as the first two.

I rate it 6 stars.

Sian's love for movies spawned from having a tight mother whose generosity stretched only to hiring movies once a week for entertainment. As a pre-teen Sian spent more pocket money then she earned on cinema tickets and thus sought a job at the cinema. Over the next decade she rose to be one of the greats in her backwater, six-screen cinema complex, zooming through the ranks from candy bar wench with upselling superpowers, to pasty projectionist, to a manager rocking a pencil skirt. Sian went on to study Journalism at university though feels her popcorn shovelling days were far more educational