Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 65% (Critics) / 75% (Audience)
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Written By: Peter Craig and Danny Strong
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore and Donald Sutherland
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Synopsis: Katniss Everdeen is in District 13 after she shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage. – (Source)
I still love Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss and even in the scenes (and there were many) where Katniss’ self-doubt and all around mopiness gets grating she still delivers a fine performance.
The one major action set piece was well done and made me want to see more battles, more flying attack ships, more of Katniss being a bad ass…just more.
And I absolutely love the sleazy yet haughtily dignified malevolence of Donald Sutherland as President Snow. He was never anyone that I thought of when doing wishful casting in my head but he just wonderful in this role.
This movie is basically a depressed Katniss sitting in a drab bunker surrounded by drab people, behaving self-indulgently whiny. This film really should not exist because nothing happened that was worthy of another over 2 hour film. This franchise should be a trilogy and it was so blatantly evident that there was not enough material to make four movies.
Stretching things out for purely greedy purposes also served to give short shrift to a stellar supporting cast especially Julianne Moore who shares the award for “2015 Biggest Waste of an Oscar Nominated Actress in A Genre Film” with Glenn Close.
I could probably just paste my criticisms of Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson from prior HUNGER GAMES reviews so I will keep it brief. Hemsworth has more screen time in this film and I cannot recall anything about his character at all. He is like a piece of living room furniture and not a useful piece of furniture like a sofa or cool lamp. He’s like an end table.
And Hutcherson is now how I will measure bad casting. All other roles in all other films will now be measured on the Hutcherson-Peeta Scale because he just does not work in this part at all.
Final Verdict: A prime example of why decompressed storytelling is sometimes a bad idea especially when it is solely done for the purpose of milking a moneymaking franchise for every penny that can be squeezed out of it. A long, often times frustrating set-up to a finale that serves as a dip in quality from the previous two installments. Let’s hope they bring it home strongly with the second part of Mockingjay.