The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

A must-see-in-theatre for us, as I'm sure the filmmakers coldly calculated.

At the end of the previous movie, our reluctant heroine, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) had been rescued from near-death by revolutionaries eager to take down the oppressive government of Panem as symbolized by its ruthless sadist leader, President Snow (Donald Sutherland). But one of Katniss's boyfriends, Peeta, remained behind. Katniss is pretty irate about that. It's apparent that she loves Peeta slightly more than she does her other boyfriend, Gale.

The revolutionaries are based in "District 13", long-supposed to have been destroyed by Panem. But they're living in a deep underground complex, full of weaponry and spirited people. They are led by President Coin (Julianne Moore) with assistance from Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and some other folks from previous installments. Coin wants Katniss as an inspirational symbol to lead the revolt. Katniss is more concerned about getting Peeta back to safety, and she uses that as a bargaining chip.

As a number of reviewers observed: for a two-hour movie, not too much happens. There are a few conflict scenes where the ruthless forces of Panem take on the plucky dissidents. But the main plot driver is a mopy Katniss pining for Peeta's safe return.

So: it's OK, but clearly just setting up moviegoers to shell out for another ticket next November. And, God willing, we'll be there. I haven't read the books, so I (honestly) don't know how things turn out. At times it appears the District 13 allegedly-good guys are nearly as power-hungry as the Panem thugs, and some of the scenes where Coin addresses her minions give off a Triumph of the Will vibe. So maybe it will turn out to be one of those meet-the-new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss deals? Don't tell me.


Last Modified 2014-12-08 3:29 PM EST