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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 review: false note



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Entertaining. Good acting from the supporting core.


Bland entertainment. Misses a story arc. The shift in focus is not a positive one.

Posted 27/11/2014 by

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Katniss Everdeen becomes the embodiment of the revolution, leaving the reality-tv stage of The Hunger Games and going all-war on The Capitol trying to overthrown them. The Hunger Games series have been an utterly entertaining franchise until now but the choice for dividing the last novel in two movie distorts it’s pace, momentum and solid narrative. It’s design and cinematographic value has been bland and underwhelming, matters seem even worse with Mockingjay. Katniss Everdeen has evolved as a character but the same can’t be said about Jennifer Lawrence, for the first time this series Katniss Everdeen feels too much for Jennifer Lawrence to handle.


The shift in mood, setting and accent can be too much to deal with for some viewers, especially because Mockingjay got divided into two features and Mockingjay can feel like a slow-burner or even boring. For me, the boredom resides in the lack of a decent build up and a suspensive story-arc. All you have now is a storyline that gets half-told and that becomes a serious problem as far as film structure goes. I don’t buy the excuse that Lawrence needed more time to tell the story of Collins’ last novel, it has commercial purpose written all over it. That might say it all why Mockingjay doesn’t have a soulful core and Mockingjay has been made for all the wrong reasons.


Dividing the last novel isn’t all cons, there are some advantages but Lawrence doesn’t utilize those opportunities very well. Take the blackout scene for instance, it would have been perfect to depict what went through the citizens of the Capitol but all you get is a one-sided scene where Lawrence tries to create a suspenseful sequence, but like the entire movie Lawrence fails to implement a layered structure that really makes a solid political thriller. Where Lawrence seemed like a powerhouse in the first two installments she clearly struggles with the complicated emotional rollercoaster Katniss is in in Mockingjay. She strikes out poorly, but she has some of the greatest actors to back her up and that saves her. Hoffman, Harrelson and especially Moore act very lively and vital. Hemsworth is very solid.


By leaving the televised bloodsport arena The Hunger Games’ biggest thematic, mass-media satire, is almost non-existent. So by lack of a solid polical thriller and mass-media satire, everything that made The Hunger Games such a fascinating blockbuster franchise isn’t there anymore. It is still entertaining but the franchise loses it’s smart and inventiveness. A lack of the brief flares of action sequences shouldn’t be a problem but it is when the non-action sequences are boring and don’t have any development of any kind. It’s story, thematics and design are very underwhelming at best, and compared to the first installments Mockingjay is a huge cutback. Entertaining but bland.


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Breaking through cinema one movie at a time. Aesthetics above all, Antonioni, Malick & Godard are the G.O.A.T.s. I have a gargantuan soft spot for Vanessa Hudgens. Benoit Debie = THE cinematographer. Don't make war, make art.


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