A symbol, if done right, is timeless and invincible if it stands for something that’s worth everything to us. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I, directed by Francis Lawrence, continues the story of Katniss, as she goes to District 13 and meets President Coin, played by Julianne Moore, who convinces her to be the symbol for the rebellion. A rebel with the cause, so to speak. Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, and Philip Seymour Hoffman are back in their respective roles for part one of the finale of this trilogy.
Francis Lawrence sets up a good amount of compelling moments, showcasing his actors’ talents very well; however, there just isn’t enough to make this film as engaging as the last two installments. The media satire is entertaining, as it’s a revolution to be televised and we get to see how it’s marketed. What this film lacks is action, although there are a couple of scenes of Katniss and company doing damage. It also isn’t as briskly paced as the first two installments, as it seems to take it’s time with telling the story so that there can be something saved for part II; it feels like a stall.
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss is as easy to cheer for as ever, spitting fire into the camera in her black, battle-ready armor. Katniss is a natural leader that is truly moved by the chaos of the Capitol and the heinous Dr. Snow, and Lawrence does an amazing job at allowing the audience to feel what the character feels. When she speaks, the desperation and ferocity in her voice commands you to listen. Overall, the cast does an amazing job, but this time around Elizabeth Banks, playing Effie Trinket, stands out a little more. Maybe it’s because she’s stripped down of all the make-up and fancy costumes or maybe it’s because of her spot-on humor that she still holds onto despite her condition.
Ultimately, this is a film about the haves and the have nots, an ongoing war that has been going on since the beginning of time. The future that’s depicted in the Hunger Games trilogy, colorfully so, is essentially our past, present, and future. This film continues that theme, and does it well, despite the lack of action.
While Jennifer Lawrence turns in another inspirational performance as Katniss, overall the film undeniably feels like an appetizer before the main course. It might have been a better idea to not split the third entry of the Hunger Games trilogy into two films. Yes, the ending was intriguing, but now we have to wait another year for part two.