The “Hunger Games” series continues with the recently released third installment, “Mockingjay — Part 1,” which goes the same route that worked for both the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” series: Split the final chapter into two parts to milk the proverbial cash cow.
The series’ first two films were highly enjoyable and surpassed my expectations. So, does this third effort rank up with the first two? Not quite.
Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are back as Katniss and Peeta, respectively. Peeta, who was captured by the Capitol at the end of “Catching Fire,” begins “Mockingjay” as being brainwashed. Katniss is in trouble for her actions at the end of the second movie. Those actions have inspired all of Panem to revolt.
Most of “Mockingjay — Part 1” is heavy on dialogue, and the action and special effects are just scattered throughout. However, there are some impressive moments, including one scene in which the revolution causes a gigantic flood that destroys some of the Capitol. Sadly, this is the most exciting scene.
I do like how the film continues to have a great undercurrent of political subtext and social commentary that has parallels in the real world.
“Mockingjay — Part 1” features solid performances from its amazing cast and contains some thoughtful dialogue. But it tries to rely too much on dialogue to carry it through. It’s adequately paced, but there’s no real sense of excitement.
Nevertheless, I’m sure the filmmakers are trying their best to show some restraint until the final chapter hits theaters next year. I do hope that the odds will be more in favor with the last film.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic material.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.
This review is dedicated to the memories of Judy Groover and Eric Howard.