Mockingjay was Just Okay

Photo: www.

Photo: www.

Enzo Libertini, Entertainment and News Editor

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 hit theaters on November 21. The film is a part of the Hunger Games series and is the first half of the final chapter. This review contains spoilers, so stop reading now if you have not seen the movie.

I don’t think this movie was bad. It had a great cast, a big budget, and was based on a great book. However, the nature of a two-part finale is to a have a much calmer part 1 than part 2. This is definitely going to be the case with Mockingjay. The whole movie is a set-up for the next one. I guess you could say that about any series of movies, but it was so obvious with this one.

Jennifer Lawrence plays a very different Katniss in Mockingjay, than she has in the other movies. The older sister-master archer she embodied in the past films is now much more of an older sister than a master archer. That’s not because Katniss can no longer shoot arrows, it’s because no one would let her. I think she may have fired three arrows throughout the whole movie.  There is far less action in this movie than the last two. This is due to the lack of a Hunger Gameswhich is something everyone knew would not be included in this chapter. The rebellion is now the main focus of the film rather than just in the background like it was in Catching Fire. Some of my favorite scenes were the sequences of the small uprisings in various districts. These scenes were filmed well and were added to give an effective idea of what was really happening outside of District 13.

Julianne Moore was pretty good overall as President Coin. The gray hair was nice, I guess. She really didn’t do anything that I thought was overly impressive, but she didn’t ruin anything either. I loved Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s role. He made the transition from devious game master to passionate revolutionary so well. I really liked the scene where he was directing Katniss’s propaganda video. I would have liked to have seen more of Woody Harrelson. Hamich is one of my favorite characters, and the scenes he had were terrific.

The movie stuck to the book pretty well all together, but they had to stretch things out and show what wasn’t directly written but inferred. The rebellion scenes were some of the most epic of the entire movie. I couldn’t believe how dark some of them were. They were a nice touch. It was the small things like this that made the film worth seeing.

Donald Sutherland plays a terrific bad guy, and it’s great to see him embrace the role of President Snow. Josh Hutcherson did not make me feel that bad for the captured Peeta. I liked the Peeta from Catching Fire much better because he was more than just a guy talking with Stanley Tucci. I get this was just following the book, but it’s this kind of stuff that makes me wish they would have just done one whole movie, and skipped the part 1 part 2. At the end of the day, this whole movie could have been cut in half and placed at the beginning of the next one. That doesn’t mean this movie was bad, or that the next one won’t be good. I just felt like this movie was hollow and could have been made whole if placed together with its brother that comes out next year. Overall, Mockingjay-Part 1 was just okay.