I should have known. I should have warned people. I should have just not gone and seen Mockinjay Part 1. Yes, and not only is it bad, but it makes me feel like the big Hollywood movie studios are just fucking with me, with us, by doing this new divide-a-book-adaptation-into-two-movies thing. I feel grrr. To be clear: I love Jennifer Lawrence. Ever since Winter’s Bone, she can do no wrong, at least not by herself. I also love Katniss, the character, and I love the first two books of the The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins. They were engaging, exciting, and moved along at break-neck speed. I’m not exactly sure they are, or should be, classified at YA, but that’s another article. (Btw: the book Winter’s Bone is awesome, in a slightly different way from the great movie—rare!) I also love almost all of the other actors involved in this movie: Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, and Philip Seymour Hoffman (in maybe his last role, and looking pretty ragged, and I don’t think that was from his make-up)—all biggies, and some of my favs, and all with somewhat small parts who nonetheless are what gives this movie what little life it has. The big problem, and you know this if you’ve read The Hunger Games Trilogy, is that the third book, Mockingjay, sucks. All the people I know who also read the trilogy, all two or three of them (and all women btw, whatever that means) agree with me on this. And so, the third (and fourth! grrr) movie was almost automatically going to suck as well, unless a miracle happened. After all, the Twilight movies managed to be better than the books, even though everyone who saw the movies read the books, mostly, except for some adults who wanted to se what the fuss was about without actually having to read the awful teen Mormon romance books. Dividing up the third book of the The Hunger Games Trilogy was a really really bad idea. It’s not like it was even that big of a book, not like the seventh Harry Potter, Deathly Hollows, which one could maybe justify dividing, but which nevertheless showed movie execs that people are willing to pay for two movies instead of one, and even wait a year between them. Yes, and they’ll also pay a second time to see the first part of the two parts when the second part comes out, so as to refresh their (as in our) stupid obliging brains. Thus, The Hobbit split in three parts, and ends up being nothing like the book at all. (The trailer for Part III was featured before Mockingjay) (more grrr) So yes, there’s added stuff in Mockingjay Part 1, none of which is that important, and only serves to clutter, except for one important thing: they’re giving Julianne Moore’s character, the president of the rebel (literally) underground District 13, way more lines, most of which are awful, but Julianne Moore being Julianne Moore, she’s working them for all they’re worth, and turning her character into a much less flat person, and more complex, which I think/suspect/predict is going to backfire in Part 2, and if you’ve read the book, you know what I’m talking about. And is anybody who sees the movie Mockingjay someone who has not read the book? Didn’t seem like it in the crowd I saw it with, which was actually the highlight of the night, since it was composed of attractive young women who came to see another attractive young woman kick some ass. Katniss obviously resonates. As one character says to her: “People will either want to kiss you, kill you, or be you.” I suspect the fan base is in the latter camp, with a bit of conscious or unconscious yearning for the first part. I certainly am in the first group, though sure, I’d like to be Katniss too: fighting the good fight, with arrows. In fact, if I ever delve into the madness that is online dating, I may use that as my what-I’m-looking-for: Seeking Katniss. But it’s the pacing of Mockingjay Part 1 that is the main problem. It just never really builds. It lurches. Lots of talking, lots of exposition, with short little action-y scenes scattered here and there. But nothing sustained: It’s like the director, Francis Lawrence (who directed the second movie, Catching Fire—so maybe it’s the producers?) feels obligated to really make sure the audience understands the politics, but sprinkles in these forced action pieces into to keep them from getting bored. But I got bored. Then I got angry. The politics of The Hunger Games world is not that hard to figure out. It’s not that hard to figure out that the politicians of District 13 are also a little asshole-y, and thus, conflict ensues. We get it. Mockingjay should just be one movie. All the talking and little action scenes could be shown in the first 30 minutes. In fact, cutting out stuff from the book would have been the way to go. If there’s some kind of good thing to come from this, Part 2 can’t be anything but better than Part 1: it’s where all the action is in the book. But if you’ve read the book, why see the movie? This is one of the few movies I’ve actually walked out on. I guess it was towards the end anyways, but still: An actor I love, a character I love, with supporting actors I love, and it was a stilted jabber-jaw mess. Jennifer Lawrence: we love you though, and you tried so hard in this movie to make it work. I appreciate that and will gladly go on a date with you to show you my appreciation. We could get Indian food. Chana masala. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (an alternate view)2.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.