How quickly The Hunger Games series has transitioned from the fresh, original drama that captivated audiences in 2012 to yet another bloated, aimless studio blockbuster franchise stretching itself out for pure monetary gain, as seen with Mockingjay, Part 1.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has just destroyed the hold the Capitol exerts over the Districts with the “hunger games.” After she is saved by the rebels of District 13, she works alongside them to try her best to fight to save Peeta, as well as rally the nation to rise up and fight against the Capitol.
There is absolutely no reason this final installment of The Hunger Games needed to be split into two movies. I don’t even know where the story will go in the next film, but I do know that Part 1 had almost no memorable moments and could easily have been compacted into a ten minute setup for whatever happens next. Even more so than the first two installments, President Snow feels too cartoonish of a villain to take seriously, and the film as a whole has no self-contained story other than serving as a placeholder for whatever is coming with the climactic finale.
Mockingjay, Part 1 is not only unnecessary, but it’s boring and full of a series of events that have no longterm consequences. As always, Jennifer Lawrence shines in her career-defining role as Katniss Everdeen, perfectly capturing the struggle this leader-to-be faces as she wrestles with her place in the rising rebellion. But the movie surrounding her is completely disposable.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1 is rated PG-13 for disturbing images and intense sequences of action violence.
© Matt Tory, 2014.