Mockingjay brings a packed theater

Lou Malmgren, Co-Editor-In-Chief

“The Hunger Games” is undeniably one of the most popular teen entertainment franchises of the decade, comparable to the likes of “Twilight” and “Harry Potter.” The first two film adaptations were incredibly successful and with “Catching Fire’s” recent cliffhanger ending, there is plenty of excitement for the trilogy’s closing films.

In line with the past few movies of the “Hunger Games” franchise, “Mockingjay” is nothing short of a CGI masterpiece. Action scenes are booming and gritty with towering explosions and entire battlefields of hectic combat. Though the shaky camera effect of past movies in the series is still present, it is not anywhere near as bad as in the first installment. Also worth noting are the landscapes of the Capitol and District 13 and how they are fleshed out and capture the feeling of the books very well.

The cast of “Mockingjay” delivers performances quite worthy of their “A-lister” status. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as always in the role of Katniss and brings a lot of emotion to every scene she is in. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Woody Harrelson serve as fantastic secondary characters and their interactions with Katniss seem very real.

There are quite a few hiccups in quality during “Mockingjay,” namely in the decision to split the film into two separate parts. Because part one is only given the opening half of the book’s material, it feels much less like a full movie and more like set up for part two. Though the action does begin to pick up near the end, very little actually happens in the film aside from propaganda matches between the rebels and the Capitol, and Katniss undergoing emotional struggles. Because of the general lack of content, many moments feel stretched or otherwise overdone just to fill two hours of runtime.

“Mockingjay” is a very well-made movie with great CGI and a fantastic cast, but it does suffer the issue of being split into two parts like many other blockbuster series (“The Hobbit,” “Harry Potter,” etc.). Despite the first part being lackluster, the short pickup of action near the film’s end hopefully signaled just how good part two could be.