Viewed – 21 March 2015 Blu-ray
So we reach the third entry in the heavily hyped franchise adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ popular novels. Katnis Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has defied the capital and angered President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and has had to go into hiding along with a group of rebels in the hope of gathering the population of Pan Am against it’s totalitarian government. An uprising of monstrous proportions is on the horizon. And so ended the last movie, Catching Fire, in the hope that now things were really going to kick off.
Well, that’s not quite the case here in the first part of the final book, as Katnis is given the task of becoming the Mocking Jay, the iconic face of the rebellion. This of course means she is an enemy of the capital and anyone who joins her cause are immediate targets. What you get is over an hour of propaganda creating interviews, visiting districts, doing publicity videos, and not much action … until the final act that is. It suffers the same slow, drawn-out build up of the last movie but without the exhilarating pay-off of an actual Hunger Games this time around to get all worked up about. And don’t get me started about how many people die for no good reason in this movie (i.e. the hospital being bombed…).
Sound design and production values are both top notch but this doesn’t make up for such lacklustre plotting. Lawrence does her best in a role that gives her very little to do other than look earnestly at destroyed landscapes and well, act a bit out of her depth. Supporting turns from Julianne Moore and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman don’t add a great deal to proceedings, and Woody Harrelson is woefully under-used. Donald Sutherland is ok but again doesn’t get much time to really chew the scenery – the script clearly too interested in dragging out every little moment for as long as possible, just so there’s enough material left to make another movie.
A serious example of cash-in over quality this time, sadly.
Verdict: 2 /5
The franchise is coming to an end and it’s a bit disappointing with this one. Still, though, the final entry will probably be quite solid. Nice review Craig.