The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – Should I Watch It?

Intro to… The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
There is only one thing that Katniss shoots in this movie: home videos.

The Plot
Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) find herself in the long-thought destroyed District 13. Her rescue from the 75th Hunger Games has not been without consequence. The Capitol has destroyed District 12 and incarcerated many people, including Peeta (Josh Hutcherson).

Disgusted by the actions of the Capitol and determined to save Peeta, Katniss joins the rebellion and becomes their spokeswoman.

Should I Watch It?
The previous Hunger Games movies showed Katniss and Peeta desperately trying to survive all-or-nothing death matches that were orchestrated by the Capitol. They were thrilling, exciting, and full of action. This is not.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is the first of the two-part conclusion that makes up the Hunger Games trilogy. The games are over, and the rebellion has begun. From now on forwards, the story is going to take a completely different direction.

I read The Hunger Games trilogy before seeing this, and I must admit that this is a very literal adaptation. Fans of the books will really enjoy this. I surely did. But I also firmly believe that movies need to stand independently from other media, and this is where Mockingjay might disappoint.

See, people who have not read the final book of the trilogy will have completely different expectations on what this film is going to be about. None of the movies have indicated that the story is about to go into a completely different direction, and yet it does. The Hunger Games movies, and books, are basically split into two parts: the setup and the action. And due to the very literal adaptation this means that this movie has no action at all. It is about political speeches, Katniss’ internal struggles, and shooting propaganda videos. People expecting a struggle to survive in the wild while being hunted by others will be disappointed.

What we do get, however, is actually quite good. There are some powerful scenes and I am finally convinced that Katniss cares as much for Peeta as he does for her. Again, it holds true to the book, and fans are going to really appreciate that. But when the movie ended it left me with one singular thought: was this it?

Some stories can be cut in multiple pieces. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are prime examples of this. Their story unfolds as their adventure progresses; there is alternation between action and exposition. The Hunger Games, however, does not have this alternation. They put all of the exposition in the beginning and end with the action. But when you cut that in half that means that sitting through all of the exposition has no payoff.

Mockingjay Part 1 is exactly what I thought it was going to be, and because of that I cannot recommend it. Not because I did not like it, I actually really did, but because I would not have liked it if I had not read the books. And for a movie it should not matter if you did.

No, don’t watch it.

Hi guys, I hope you enjoyed reading this review. If you have any comments or suggestions on what I should watch next let me know in the comment section below.

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3 responses to “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – Should I Watch It?”

  1. alexdneagoe says :

    Looking forward to part 2! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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