The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I

02/13/2017 17:01

Film: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I

Year: 2014

Director: Francis Lawrence

Writer: Peter Craig and Danny Strong

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth



This film begins where the last one left one. Jennifer Lawrence wakes up and tries to figure out where she is. She meets with a soldier played by Mahershala Ali who informs her that she is in District 13. She still has nightmares and is having trouble coping with what happened. She meets her best friend, played by Liam Hemsworth, who informs her that District 12 has been destroyed. But her mother and sister, played by Willow Shields, have survived. Sam Claflin, another tribute from the last film that Lawrence teamed up with is also there. He is struggling with nightmares like her and he is depressed being without a woman from his home district who has been taken by the President, played by Donald Sutherland.

District 13 has its own President, played by Julianne Moore. Lawrence meets with her as well as Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the gameskeeper who turned on the capital to help the revolution. They want Lawrence to be their Mockingjay, the face of their revolution. She doesn’t want to, since the other boy she loves and the other tribute from her district, Josh Hutcherson, was not saved when she was.

Moore is disappointed in what she has seen and does not see the fight in her. Hoffman tells her to let Lawrence see District 12 and he thinks this will change her. A hovercraft takes her to the district and she is devastated by what she sees. She goes to her house where she gathers supplies and saves Shields’ cat as well.

When she returns, she decides that she will help them but she has conditions. Hutcherson is making propaganda interviews and commercials for Sutherland. He tries to stop the rebellion with them. Lawrence wants all of the tributes who survived saved and that no harm will come to them. Moore reluctantly agrees and tells the people of District 13 in front of Lawrence.

Lawrence is then joined by Elizabeth Banks, who no longer has the bright look to her, as well as her former mentor, Woody Harrelson. The goal is to make propaganda like Hutcherson and the capital is making. The problem is that Lawrence isn’t good with words and it sounds fake. Harrelson decides that she needs to be in natural settings and let it happen. It is decided that she will go to District 8 with some soldiers to make these.

A director who fled the capital, played by Natalie Dormer, and her crew, Evan Ross, and two avoxes, played by Elden Henson and Wes Chatham come along as well. It should be pointed out that an avox is a person the capital has cut out their tongue as punishment.

An attack on a hospital sparks the crew to fight back. Hemsworth was given a crossbow and Lawrence has her bow. The arrows she uses have a little something extra. She brings down two hovercrafts with one of them.

The propaganda comes out great, but the more they do, the farther Sutherland will go. We can see that Hutcherson is being beaten and tortured. This breaks her heart. Sutherland finally is annoyed to the point where he calls for an attack on District 13, but it can’t get through their defenses. Jeffrey Wright, a former tribute that is tech savvy, helps coordinate an attack on the capital’s dam that knocks out their power. He now has the ability to hack into the capital’s defenses. A rescue plan to free the captured tributes is decided.

Will they save them? Can they be saved? Is this a trap? Can the capital be overcome? Can Lawrence keep it together and get everyone back that she loves?

I will have to say that this film does a have an even darker feel than the previous two. Lawrence shows a lot more emotions in this one, even though it is mostly sadness. I do think the story is pretty good, even though it is mostly just depressing. I would say that the acting is also solid as well. I thought it was interesting what happens with Hutcherson in the end of the film, but I am curious as to what Sutherland is getting at.

I unfortunately do not have more good things to say, because my biggest problem with this film is that it is building to the climax that I don’t feel we really get for this film. I’m not a big fan of separating books into two movies for reasons like that. At the time of writing this, I have not read this book, but I’m assuming there is a lot in it. This film was a little boring as it was a lot of standing around and talking. There is minimal action.

I am adding this film to the horror film research, because I had the previous two. The horror has been toned down for this one as this film is more of the set-up. We still have multiple characters that are haunted by their time in the Hunger Games and still feeling the effects. They are also out to get revenge to prevent anyone from going back in. We also have characters being tortured into what to say to help quell a rebellion.

I would recommend this film if you like the first one and are going to finish the series. The acting is good. The story isn’t bad, aside from the fact that is just building for the next film. This is the first one that cannot stand alone to be viewed as we don’t get a conclusion. There’s very little action and a lot of talking, making it boring. I heard there was going to be more of a cliff hanger ending that I think would have enhanced the feel, but I am disappointed it wasn’t used. This pretty good, but does have its flaws and needs to be seen consecutively with the final part.


My Rating: 6 out of 10