The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Written by Danny Strong and Peter Craig
Based on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland
Looking back at the Hunger Games series as it stands right now, there’s a clear line of escalation. The first film was a serviceable young adult flick, the wrongheaded direction of which was evened out by a terrific central performance by Jennifer Lawrence. Catching Fire upped the ante to become a terrific blend of action and thrills that improved on the original in every way and made the wait for the final films seem much longer. Mockingjay, Part 1 kicks things up another gear, delivering something akin to a war movie. Or, rather, the first half of a war movie. Yeah, while Mockingjay 1.0 is still a worthy entry in the series, it’s still brought down by the fact that it’s only the first half of its story. It’s not as bad as something like, say, The Hobbit, but the lack of momentum and boring love triangle filler almost derail the first chapter of the final chapter of the Hunger Games series.