Review: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay (2014)

Review: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay (2014)


A couple of months before, I could finally get myself to watch the third installment of the HUNGER GAMES franchise, MOCKINGJAY. It took a while until I could write about it because it left me pretty speechless and I  still can´t believe that I didn´t leave the cinema screaming and shouting over the crap that I had to endure in  this movie. And I really mean that!
I recently watched the second Part, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, and keeping in mind that I actually didn´t really like the original, it was actually halfway decent for a sequel. I mean, it wasn´t perfect and Jlaw´s performance was really bad, but compared to the terrible MOCKINHJAY PART 1, it was Oscar-worthy creme of the crop.But yeah, I´ll review CATCHING FIRE on another day.

And here is the thing about MOCKINGJAY PART 1:
I am really sure that director Francis Lawrence could have made a really good film if they hadn´t tried to milk two movies out of a novel that just didn´t have enough substance to make two movies out of it. Period. The whole movie is completely eventless and doesn’t even have a proper finale. You know, compared to MOCKINGJAY Part 1, the very poor, middle Part of the HOBBIT Trilogy was a masterpiece and even its weak finale looks SO much better now, that I´ve seen this parade example of a movie that´s sole purpose seems to be to create a setup for the second MOCKINGJAY movie. And the whole movie is basically just a lot of melodrama without the necessary amount of action to counterbalance it.

The quality of the acting is totally variably because we have great actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson on the one side and Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth (ME THOR, YOU JANE!) on the other One. And though he´s like this totally respected actor with decades of experience, I SO didn’t like Donald Sutherland, because his role was nothing but  annoying. There are a handful of interesting scenes, but many of them are so crammed full of heroically delivered speeches that it´s almost unintentionally funny. The project´s technical quality, beginning from the cinematography to the CGI, is very good and I absolutely appreciate that. Besides, there are some really good actors involved here and that´s what actually saved MOCKINGJAY from tanking. Nonetheless, I think that everyone who oversaw the film in its final cut and decided it would be ok to release it like that without a halfway decent finale should be given a major bollocking! Simple as that. You know, I actually thought it wouldn´t be such a big deal that this part had an open ending but it was. You know, “open ending” is a very broad term and I am totally ok with the type of open ending that we know from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for example. You know, the whole movie is perfect and has so much action that it really doesn’t matter that we don’t know what will happen to the frozen Han Solo. But the “open ending” in MOCKINGJAY PART 1 is different. It´s like watching a 90 minute discussion about foreign politics that just cuts off on a low point and expects us to come back in a year to continue the festival of boredom. You know, I was like “really, they can’t be serious to end it like that”.  The characters are really flat and this is just not the type of movie that can keep the viewers entertained with just the drama. It doesn’t work like that.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was the secret star of the movie and stole every scene he was in; even the scenes with Oscar Winning actress Julianne Moore. It´s such a tragedy that he has passed away and I will really miss him as an actor. From what I heard, they will digitalize his face into the couple of scenes that he still had to do and I really hope that they will do it as tasteful as possible. Not sure how important his role was for MOCKINGJAY Part 2

So personally, I HATED this movie and I really look forward to see the second part because It has to be the best movie ever made to undo the damage that MOCKINGJAY PART 1 did to the reputation of the whole brand. Technically, everything was fine, but that didn’t really help  because the rest is nothing but a succession of trivialities that weren’t even be good enough for a TV miniseries. The director is technically absolutely capable of making a good movie and that makes the poor decision to release this as a unfinished movie even worse.