RELEASED 2014 RUNTIME 123 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION FRANCIS LAWRENCE SCREENPLAY PETER CRAIG, DANNY STRONG STARRING JENNIFER LAWRENCE, JOSH HUTCHERSON, LIAM HEMSWORTH, WOODY HARRELSON, ELIZABETH BANKS, JULIANNE MOORE, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, JEFFREY WRIGHT, STANLEY TUCCI, DONALD SUTHERLAND MUSIC JAMES NEWTON HOWARD
Katniss has destroyed the Hunger Games and now finds herself in district 13, where President Coin and her allies encourage Katnis to lead an inspired nation by her actions into a revolution against the Capitol.
TONE & PACING
This is the first part of a two part final film in the franchise and you can feel it. The pace is much slower than in the previous two films and we spend much more time with our characters. We get a lot of great insight into everyone’s motivations and emotions, particularly Katniss. I like these type of films. However, there is not much plot going on and we keep revolving around the same issues for the entire first hour of the film. Will Kantnis embrace her role as the mocking jay (which basically means the public figure of the revolution) or not? Of course she does, otherwise we didn’t have a movie, right? But, there is an issue with pacing. Scenes feel dragged out and take longer than they should.
Also, because it’s the first half of an actual story the action sequences are very sparse. I don’t need much action to enjoy a movie. I’m not one of these ADSD-people who will feel bored when nothing blows up. But it’s noticeable that there is only about 2 action sequences in the entire film, which one of them I don’t know if I should really call an action set piece to begin with. It’s fine for me and I found myself enjoying the film quite a lot because of the great drama, even though it definitely feels like a setup for the next film.
I’m not gonna talk about the recurring characters because not much has changed. But we got a new addition, and that’s Julianne Moore as president Coin. It may seem like an odd casting choice, big it works extremely well. Julianne Moore is one of the greatest actresses of our time and she brings great gravitas with her. Her character is quite interesting. Not really likable, but not dislikable either. She makes you feel a little uncomfortable, but is encouraging when she needs to.
Not a new character, but surprisingly in the center of attention is Philipp Seymor Hoffmann as Plutarch Heavenly. Turns out, he is on Katniss’ side of things. But is he?! You have to find out yourself, but his part definitely has elaborated.
Again, one of the things that I enjoy the most about the Hunger Games franchise are the multiple analogies to our own society. Again, it’s being utilized here. Unfortunately Stanley Tucci’s part as the TV host has been reduced to a minimum. Too bad. I always love watching his parts.
Even though a setup for the payoff in the next film, I found myself enjoying the film quite a lot. It’s a much slower film than the first two. But it makes up for it with emotional scenes and a lot of drama. It’s more of a character piece about Katnis than a complete film. The payoff comes with Mocking Jay part 2 and until then we have to accept a massive cliffhanger. My suggestion. Watch both movies back to back because let’s be frank. That’s how they were intended to be watched. But that’s no excuse for Hollywood to keep practicing this money milking strategy in the future. I’m still against splitting a story in two parts. I always hated it and will continue to do so.