Mockingjay put together is a solid movie. Divided into two parts, it's a reminder that Francis Lawrence is a poor director.
“Mockingjay” should have never been split. You had a solid trilogy with amazing acting making up for lackluster behind-the-scenes talent. But, that stink greed emerged with the desire to split the film into two parts. While splitting a final part into two films doesn’t always equal terrible, it demands a sense of pacing that is damn near perfect. Neither Mockingjay film sported that sense of pacing.
If you’re a fan of the Collins’ novels, you’re going to be pissed. If you’re a fan of genre entertainment, you’re going to wonder why the excessive need for so many booby traps? If you’re a fan of quality storytelling, everything about the finale is going to make you scream at the screen. Make sure to do this in a crowded theater to scare small children. Especially, since it seems like the MPAA went super light on Lionsgate on the film rating front.
As I dealt with the dancing sequence, the never-ending booby traps and Julianne Moore literally just doing whatever the hell she wanted…I took a step back. Where was that initial Gary Ross film that I loved? How does a film franchise blow such stunning performances from Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland? Trilogies rarely satisfy upon initial release or 30 years later in an internet retrospective. I guess I’m pining for that sweet spot that only seems to exist in the minds of general nerdom.
There’s much I liked about the film. I loved the slight tweaking to the President and Coin’s final fates. I appreciated the constant efforts to force Peeta into implausible scenarios. Hell, there’s not enough praise to be hoisted upon Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence made this film series and kept above dying on the vine when compared to the artistic merits of other Young Adult film adaptations.
But, this isn’t going to matter. What’s a middlin’ Hunger Games film in a year of middlin’ Bond and Avengers films? Our time in the Capitol has come to a close, but what’s the important lesson to take away? In a Young Adult adaptation boom where anything can get green lit and trotted out with young starlets, The Hunger Games tried to be something better. While it didn’t always succeed, shouldn’t reward effort in a subgenre of low hanging fruit?
RELEASE DATE: 11/20/2015