A movie half empty.
I've been pretty vocal about my complaints about Mockingjay being split into two movies. It's so unnecessary. Not enough to make me skip it entirely, I do love The Hunger Games trilogy, but splitting the movie was not only a bad narrative choice, but it highlighted my biggest complaint about Mockingjay in the first place.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is no longer the fierce competitor we saw from the first two films. She was always a little unhinged after the games. She's still confused on who she loves more, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) whose been taken captive by the capital, and her best friend Gale, (Liam Hemsworth) whose still been by her side this entire time. Katniss is now mopey, depressed, and clearly not understanding the gravity of the situation she's found herself in. The majority of this film, like the book it shot in an underground bunker in District 13, the one that we were all lead to believe was destroyed. District 12 has been destroyed, and we see the ruins. 13's president, Coin (Julianne Moore) wants Katniss to be the face of the rebellion, and has a series of propaganda videos shot to show all of Panem that she's alive and ready to fight.
Except Katniss is just like "we need Peeta" the entire time. I always hated how drastically different Katniss felt in Mockingjay, and this film just highlights that. I also never understood why Katniss would want Peeta over Gale in the first place, but that's a whole other discussion. Mockingjay part 1 doesn't feel like a complete movie and now we're stuck waiting a full year (at least the Harry Potter movies had the decency to make everyone wait only a few months) to complete it. The film is very faithful to the book, with a few things spiced up to fill up run time, but overall, it's just more proof that not all of these YA novel movies need their final installment to be split in half. There's not enough filler for it.
Recommended: It depends. If you're a fan, then go for it. If you can wait, I'd suggest waiting until part 2 hits theaters, and watch this one right before.
Memorable Quote: "I don't like this whole prohibition thing she has going on." - Haymitch (Woody Harrelson)