So once again the time has come to whistle and raises our arms as we salute our mockingjay. The entire hunger games crew are back in the first installment of the two part finale to the series and it couldn’t have come soon enough! Catching Fire built so much on The Hunger Games and here the same happens as Mockingjay Part 1 exceeds everything that has come before it.
Mockingjay Part 1 had a few challenges to overcome, this is the first film in the series which doesn’t actually feature an annual hunger games. This was a worry as I thought that the action sequences could have been lacking, building on this I had actually started to read mockingjay but stopped after about 5 chapters as I just thought it was so uneventful. This worry wasn’t warranted though as Mockingjay Part 1 had great action. Whether it was Katniss and Gale shooting down Capitol bombers, different districts rebelling or rescue missions all the action kept you on the edge of your seat and I was actually really happy that I hadn’t read the book as it meant I was in the dark and couldn’t guess what was going to happen! On a few occasions I did think that the effects during the action sequences could have been a bit crisper and more defined however this was only a very small issue which didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the movie. Mockingjay Part 1 has a great story which develops brilliantly. The start of the movie is actually filled with a lot of humour, which whilst unexpected was great. There is a wonderful scene in which Katniss is shooting a propaganda video and Jennifer Lawrence has to act being a bad actress, it was perfectly ironic and was so entertaining to watch. Jennifer Lawrence was strong as is to be expected and she manages to take the story from its humourous beginning to its important and severe finale.
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire have built up such a collection of great characters and Mockingjay Part 1 sees a lot of them really explore more of their potential. I loved seeing Donald Sutherland’s President Snow finally get to become more of the villain than he already was and the highlight of his in the movie has to be a video call he has with Katniss nearing the end of the movie really allowing the viewer to see him in all his sinister glory. Whilst some characters flourish others maybe don’t have the screen time they deserved. The likes Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) were criminally underused as they are just such fantastic characters although it was going to impossible to devote fair time to every character just simply because this series has so many great ones. Anyway the entire cast do a wonderful job and it was enthralling to see many characters outside their comfort zones or playing different personalities than we are used to. There were surprises throughout the movie which I loved and it has easily been the film that has engaged me most so far. I can’t wait to re-watch this film and that is something I never experienced with the first two efforts as good as they were.
I can’t help but feel that we have seen nothing yet and that things are going to go mental in Part 2. Part 1 has done its job in building suspense and intrigue though and in a grand way that I didn’t actually think was possible. Mockingjay Part 1 makes you want to join the rebellion and it only deepens your investment into so many of the characters that you already loved. Mockingjay Part 1 is a fantastic film which manages to draw on everything that has come before it and inject so much fresh material creating a fantastic film which also paves the way for the final chapter of this great story. However it almost feels like when you are nearing the end of a book, you can’t wait to find out what happens but simultaneously you don’t want the story to end.
BIGGEST FLAW – Effects weren’t maybe as good as they should have been
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – The almost Avengers style coming together of all the previous characters
Rating – 10/10