The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games - Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)Mockingjay – Part 1 is unsatisfactory not simply because it’s telling half a story, but because its ideas are given neither sufficient depth nor a sufficiently engaging narrative to wrap around them.

Much like fellow threequel Matrix Revolutions, it trades the diverse visual palette of its predecessors for drab bunkers and ruins painted in endless shades of grey. That’s fitting, I suppose, given the drabness of the narrative, which is more propaganda than action scenes. I suspect that the second instalment will expound upon, say, the pseudo-Marxist ideology and pseudo-Nazi iconography of the rebels Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) finds herself aligned with, or the vanishing partition between her own identity and desires and those of ‘the Mockingjay’. But as is, it all comes across as undercooked.

It’s not all bad. It picks up in its final half hour, shedding the plodding pace for a clever scene intercutting between a tense raid and strategic propaganda. And I do love that this is an American blockbuster where the ‘good guys’ are essentially communists bombing power stations, or that its deconstruction of modern marketing go hand-in-hand with its role as an advertisement for its successor (note the propaganda video cut just like the film’s trailer!).

2.5 stars

(Check out my review of Catching Fire here)

5 thoughts on “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

    • I haven’t read the third book (gave up after book 2) but my wife tells me they’ve basically saved all the good stuff for the final film. We shall see!

  1. I’d probably go and see this if they’d made one movie. I’ve not read the book, but I’ve seen its size on a shelf and can’t imagine there’s enough there to justify the split – money aside. I really hate the trend of splitting this sort of material up into as many movies as possible.

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