Monday, March 14, 2016

The Hunger Games: Mockinjay - Part 1 (2014)

Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland

Katniss (Lawrence) is being kept alive in the secret underground chambers of District 13 along with the rest of the rebellion. Madame President (Moore) and her panel of experts are trying to convince her to be their symbolic leader they call ‘Mockingjay’. However, she’s in a moral dilemma, coming to terms with her better half Peta (Hutcherson) whose been captured by the President Snow (Sutherland) and is seen as a traitor by everyone who surrounds her.

Part 1 of the climactic battle has some great set pieces that are achieved primarily thanks to the tour-de-force of Lawrence herself – the producers lucked out with her casting. The problem lies in that much of the film is unneeded, unwanted and even retraces the same steps. As someone whose not a fan but has some knowledge of The Hunger Games world, having read the first book and seen the previous films, it took me quite awhile to work out what was happening in the opening 20 minutes.

Capable actors like Harrelson, Banks, Tucci and Moore aren’t given all that much to play with so they can only do so much. Sutherland proves he is worthwhile villain. It’s hard to watch Hoffman knowing what happened during the filming of these films. Like all these franchises, they’re looking to make any money they can but why produce something we know could be of better quality. Disappointing.


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