Review: Mockingjay Part 1

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.

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "I don't like this whole prohibition thing she has going on." - Haymitch (Woody Harrelson)

24 comments:

  1. Completely agree Brittani - whilst I enjoyed it at the time, on reflection this entry didn't keep up the same level of excitement from the second one. It's still worth seeing, but it'll benefit from being watched back to back like you said :)

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    1. Thanks! I think I'll rewatch it again when Part 2 is about to hit theaters, but for now I'm still a little annoyed with it.

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  2. It would have been great as a single movie, agreed.. the best movie moments were the ones where there was the emotional drive and action, but on quiet moments the movie lacked content and felt dragged. I liked it in terms of the buildup because I was so thrilled to see Peeta but it wasn't how it was supposed to be at all.. Why drag things to what they are not!?

    PS: I thought Effie scenes were priceless.. she was still the star.. so much character and it was sad that she only had the first half of the movie to shine.

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    1. A lot of the supporting cast got shunned. There wasn't really enough Haymitch or Beety either.

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  3. Yeah, I'm not a fan of splitting these movies in parts either. So far I have yet to see an instance where I saw it necessary (outside of that dollar bill, that is). Still, the movie wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting, and I'll likely end up seeing part 2 all the same. :)

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    1. The only time I ever thought it was necessary was with Deathly Hallows. Everything else just screamed "money money money!!"

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  4. I'm gonna see this for Natalie Dormer but I'm not a fan of these movies, at least Harrelson is in them and he is so much fun in first two

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    1. Dormer and Harrelson have pretty small parts in this, but they are great. (and I love Dormer's tattoo)

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  5. I haven't read the books, but I'm completely torn apart that I have to wait a FULL YEAR for the final movie...what a crock!

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    1. I don't know why they didn't just do a summer release like Harry Potter did. They'd probably gross a ton of money that way too.

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  6. That's one of the reasons why I ended up not seeing it. I don't want to wait an entire year for a 2nd part. Especially a part that I heard is more exciting than the first. Plus, I heard Jena is barely in the film. Fuck that!

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    1. Oh yeah, she's in a whopping one scene. Johanna was always severely underused in Mockingjay.

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  7. YIKES. well i loved the book, so maybe i'll like this a little more than you. though i do hate that t's been split into two films :(

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    1. It's very faithful, so that's a good thing. It's just not complete.

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  8. The movie could have been released in just one installment; even in the book, all the exciting parts are at the latter half, and the third book isn't even as exciting as the first two books to begin with. Great review!

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    1. Exactly! I actually wanted to skip through the book when I was reading it (though I didn't) because the beginning was so boring.

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  9. As a big fan of PSH, I felt he pretty much sleepwalked through Catching Fire. How is he in this?

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    1. I thought he was good. Then again, he could stand in a corner and say nothing and I'd still think he was good. lol

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  10. Good review Brittani. Plenty of build-up, but not much else in return. Except for a couple of cool sequences that don’t always lead to much.

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  11. OK.. I agree with your review. Since I am a fan I enjoyed the film... but if you are only so-so with the series you won't like it. It is allllllll build up. It goes on and on about build up. This is why I have issues with all these YA movies breaking into two films. It drives me nuts. I really can't stand it.

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    1. Me either, and I liked the series as a whole, but the first half of Mockingjay is definitely the weakest.

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  12. I haven't read the books, but I agree it needed to be one movie. The Harry Potter split worked perfectly for me, but this was a huge letdown after Catching Fire.

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