Nothing Special, but Not Bad
Mockingjay Part 1 is not as good as Catching Fire but better than The Hunger Games. It lives in the middle because it shares similar issues to the first film and lacks some of the good elements of the second. The worst part of this film is the pacing but it doesn’t make me not want to watch it.
The good parts that carry over to this film are the acting from the cast and the visuals. The performances are overall really good. These young people really sell their confusion and despair at this suddenly even worse world they live in. Katniss has to face the fact that she has been made into an icon, something she hasn’t asked for but is expected to embrace. Jennifer Lawrence does a good job in this role, showing how different characters push and pull her in different directions. The visuals in this film are pretty good overall. I wouldn’t say they reach the heights of Catching Fire because of an overuse of CGI elements. Yet, the film is watchable and nothing necessarily stuck out to me as bad.
Unfortunately, this film suffers from the same problem as Catching Fire but worse. I feel like I had to read the book in order to understand it fully. To understand who these characters were, why, why they were there, where they were, and more. I know I can complain about this because I read the books. It’s hard to transfer a novel to a film, but it has been done better before. I like the movies, but I like the books better.
This film is rather slow. They really wanted to draw out this Part 1 & Part 2 scenario, didn’t they? The film drags in several moments yet somehow I didn’t get very bored. Certain scenes, like the one where Katniss sings, dragged on and on and on, and those were easily the weakest points of the film.
Overall, this film is not bad. It’s not great, but by all means it’s not bad. I appreciate a lot of the visuals and all of the performances from the cast. In 2 hours more needed to be established from the books into the film for a better functioning story for the audience. Would I watch it again? Yeah, I will when I watch the series, but if I had to pick one of the four, this isn’t my go to pick. Should you watch it? Yes, watch it but again, read the books first.