How do we feel about yet another franchise closer divided into two extra-marketable parts? How do we feel knowing Plutarch won’t make it all the way to the end? What does it say about Katniss that Effie is now one of her most trusted allies (and that both share a sincere moment of appreciation for Cinna)? I guess we feel whatever Jennifer Lawrence leads us to. In a film full of powerhouse actors (Harrelson, Hoffman, Moore, Wright, Banks), Lawrence is our anchor, not least because she can differentiate between Katniss’ poor lying skills and her righteous outrage when it is triggered. The movie is both cynical and sincere about pulling emotional heartstrings, and damned if it doesn’t get to have it both ways. Finnick and Katniss are free, while Peeta, Joanna and Annie have all been detained in the Capital. They’re being used as weapons against the rising resistance, one we feel morphing into something more in the bowels of the finally visited District 13. We also revisit District 12 more than once, and cope with a repeated white rose motif, which is a warning from President Snow. Which is the other reason to see the film, of course, Donald Sutherland bringing a delightfully relished sangfroid to the nemesis of our girl on fire. He’s the proof of there never being a small part. But other scenes, with Hoffman and Moore discussing political strategy, with Wright working his wheelchair and other mannerisms, also keep our attention riveted. The horrors of war are evoked in a scene that recalls the London Blitz, and in a stealth invasion by a strike force using gas and night vision that is an eerie and unusual beat in a story so self-consciously prone to spotlights and image manipulation. While there are some predictable plot moves, the film doesn’t lose the Hunger Games tradition of new shocks and twists right to the end. Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)3.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.