Unlike many reviewers, I do not think Mockingjay is the best film of the three Hunger Games movies. I think it is good, but I was disappointed that the franchise saw the need to divide the final book into two movies.
Let me start, though, with what I liked.
The acting is superb. I think the author would be hard pressed to find a better Katniss than Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence creates such a believable experience. But, it is not just her, every key actor in the film delivers their role with the power, emotion and believability that defines a quality actor and a quality film.
The scenes are also strongly filmed. When the Revolution gets underway and the masses start fighting back against the Capital’s armed soldiers — storming the power plants and more — the scenes take on a feeling of desperation and determination.
Now, what I did not like.
When Suzanne Collins wrote the series, she created a trilogy — and although I do not believe a film needs to mirror the book — by splitting the final book into two films, the momentum of the story is lost. Too much time is spent showing the resistance — instead of moving the story forward. It makes the story feel stretched.
It is also the first film not released in Imax. This was a big disappointment for me since it ended a tradition for my daughter and me — watching the film in Imax on opening night.
Besides, with a plot like Hunger Games, the story almost begs to be filmed in Imax since it makes the action feel more intense.
Rated: 4 out of 5. Like all the Hunger Games films, the movie ends with a powerful cliffhanger. In Mockingjay, the gaunt, eerie-looking Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) proves, once again, what a talented actor he is. The metamorphosis his character undergoes is quite unsettling in the final scene.