The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are back but this time the games are over and Katniss is living underground with the members of the rebellion while Peeta is residing in the capital. The rebels are trying to hold their own against the forces of President Snow while his military obliterates whoever stands in their way…

This is where the story turns away from the formulas of the first two films that included the games and becomes more about the political undertones going on throughout both worlds of the rich and poor with Katniss caught right in the middle. The world of the rebellion is expanded upon in this film with the introduction of President Coin as their firebrand leader portrayed by Julianne Moore. Mockingjay Part 1 feels different from its predecessors and brings a sense of newness to the series as it explores both sides of the conflict and the people of Panem intertwined.

The film is well-directed with plenty of emotional moments as well as action along with some great effects too. Francis Lawrence directs with a great sense of moving the story along and getting passionate performances. From what I’ve heard, the films have been staying true to the books which is something that makes me want to read them as I haven’t had the pleasure yet…

Jennifer Lawrence is the lead once again playing Katniss as strong and as conflicted as ever. Josh Hutcherson is back as Peeta and does an excellent job with a degree of desperation and fear that feels genuine. Moore as President Coin is powerful while Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, and Philip Seymour Hoffman all put in command performances.

If you’re a fan of the books and the first two films, you won’t be disappointed here…

reviewed by Sean McKnight