Very little needs to be said here. Hunger Games fans are going to show up, and people aren’t about to opt-out in the middle of the series.
The latest installment did what it needed to do. They have a very professional production, much like the second film. The first suffered from shaky cam, but this has since been corrected with the increased budgets and oversight. So it’s very smooth, very tight, and full of real, elaborate sets that you can touch and interact in.
This dedication to realism pays off. The world is fully realized, and so when special effects enter, they are usually only a small part of an otherwise lush 360 degree world. This is the best kind of sci-fi, where it doesn’t feel fake, and performances reflect that realistic immersion.
Jennifer Lawrence is, of course, the girl on fire. Oscar winner, girl next door, she lights up the screen with her round cherubic face.
Mockingjay is very melancholy, steeped in loss and the tragedy of war. The story centers on the propaganda war this time, the idea of the Mockingjay to unite the revolution and reject the propaganda from the capital. There is less raw action than in the other films, but the action sequence that does occur is more gritty and war torn than seen before.
I was hoping they wouldn’t glorify violence, make war seem “cool” and all that, like most of the crappy action films out of Hollywood. So far they have not, and they have remained true to the premise. I fully expect the final film to wrap it all up successfully.
I’ve not read the books, but the movies work well enough. I finally got a sense of a comparison that a reader made between my book Transfixion and the Hunger Games. Mockingjay in particular has several areas where the two stories show similar themes. The prevalance of propaganda is an obvious point of similarity. Also the mind control, the programming of a particular character reminded me instantly of where the two stories coincide.
I appreciate what they’ve done with the trilogy, and this strikes me as some of the best stuff coming out of Hollywood today. Long live the revolution. Tyrants must fall. And I certainly want the next generation thinking hard about these concepts rather than most of the alternative programming out there. You go Suzanne Collins.