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The best this franchise has ever been

Mockingjay Part 1 movie review

Movie Rating:

Well this was awesome. That’s really the only word I can use to describe this movie. It’s just kinda awesome!

The first Hunger Games movie was just ok, Catching Fire really seemed to know what this franchise should be, and now finally we have Mockingjay – Part 1. This goes up with movies like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Interstellar as movies I walked out of just kind of blown away. It’s not quite as good as either of those movies, and I’m not sure it would make it into my top 5 movies this year, but it get’s close. It gets real bloody close.

Now of course following the unholy trend of book to film movies nowadays, the final installment is a two part-er. Wonderful. So if I have one main criticism with this movie, it’s that it doesn’t feel like a complete installment. We can see that we still have some ground to cover before we get to the end. But I can fully say I’m on board for the second part, especially if we get some more action.

You see for a film that on the outside seems like a movie about a revolution, there isn’t very much action. (once again we have marketing to blame) But then you quickly realize that this isn’t a movie about people doing war, this is about war’s effects on people. If you’ve been following this series at all you know that Katniss has once again escaped the Hunger Games and has been taken to the long thought destroyed District 13. Here she is pressed into being the figurehead for the coming revolution between the remaining districts and the capitol.

It’s made very clear how far Katniss has been pushed since the last movie. It’s some heavy stuff to deal with, and Jennifer Lawrence finds the perfect balance between strong but utterly destroyed in her performance. The rest of the cast is on top form as well, although Liam Hemsworth still doesn’t find anything interesting to do with Gale despite kind of making him more awesome in the final act.

What’s really impressive is how this movie manages to keep the story centered on some pretty serious subject matter without it being depressingly dark and dreary. There’s still something resembling a romance subplot, (though mercifully for us guys it kind of takes the back seat) there’s some really well placed bits of comedy thrown in sparingly, and it still finds time to show some interesting side characters (although I’m a little disappointed we don’t have more time to concentrate on Katniss’s camera crew for District 13’s propaganda vids (oh yeah we also have those)).

Thanks to the wonders a bigger budget can do for your movie, the action has taken a decidedly bigger scale. There are some cool large scale action scene’s thrown in, mostly involving the district citizens rising up, although the standout moment is the one you’ve all seen in the trailer by now involving Katniss blowing a hovercraft to heck.

Now all this is fine and dandy, but what really, really sold me on the movie was the ending. I had only read the first two books of this series, so I didn’t really know what to expect when I came into the theater. Well I certainly wasn’t expecting an ending that goes out of it’s way to make you lose all your crap and do a spit take. At the same time. While your emotions are repeatedly getting jack-hammered. With a big sign that says “COME SEE PART 2 NEXT YEAR!!!!!!”

All I’m gonna say right now is that, I honestly didn’t think this series had it in it. I seriously didn’t.

So yeah, I think I can safely say that this is the best Hunger Games movie so far. You should really check it out. If only we didn’t have to wait till next year to get our actual conclusion. Why is it that the only movie in my opinion that’s been able to pull this off the best (that isn’t Harry Potter) is the Hobbit movies? Seriously, at least those movie managed to compensate for on overblown movie trilogy with some subplots that are actually interesting. Oh well. You’ll get those reviews later. Trust me.

Movie Rating:

The Media Fire gives this movie 9/10

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Sam Wilson
Non-professional critic.