Film Review: Moving On in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’

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Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

CHICAGO – The über popular “The Hunger Games” series is back, splitting the final novel into two movie parts, Harry Potter style. Subtitled “Mockingjay - Part 1,” this is the beginning of the end of the story, setting up rather than knocking down. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

But “The Hunger Games” has its own distinct feel and source, plus a once-in-a-lifetime cast that deliver the rather soap operish ramifications with a seriousness that edges on parody – there are parts of the film where it wouldn’t be surprising if the actors burst out in laughter. The battle against the evil district of Panem is Dystopia 101, but there is a style to it, and a sly wit, that gives this series an edge in the teenager-fighting-the-man-in-the-future genre of books and films. Jennifer Lawrence as the heroine Katniss adds a depth of feeling that maintains a rooting interest, and old pros like the late Philip Seymour Hoffman drive their characters in different directions than expected.

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) awakes in District 13, after she had literally broken The Hunger Games depicted in the previous chapter of the story. Left behind in the avenging district of Panem is her lover, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and he is being used as a propaganda agent by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) against the uprising. The opposing revolution is led by President Coin (Julianne Moore), and is aided by Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

Katniss is recruited to represent the revolution, as the Mockingjay, a symbol and poster child to inspire the troops. She is supported in this effort by old friend Gale (LIam Hemsworth), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Effie (Elizabeth Banks). In leading a revolution, the inner Joan of Arc in Katniss is being disrupted by visions of Peeta. Will love throw a wrench in the overthrow?

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1” opens everywhere on November 21st. Featuring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright and Stanley Tucci. Screenplay adapted by Danny Strong and Peter Craig, from the novel “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins. Directed by Francis Lawrence. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1”

Jennifer Lawrence
Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) Navigates Her World in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’
Photo credit: Lionsgate

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1”

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