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Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Story by Sarah Baker, Editor

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The third and final book of the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, was split into two separate films, following in the footsteps of other young adult book-to-movie adaptations.

Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins, follows Katniss Everdeen after she defies the totalitarian Capitol and unintentionally becomes the Mockingjay, which is the face of a revolution. Katniss does not fully understand her influence over Panem until she arrives at District 13, where she will lead the rebels against the Capitol.

This is a great part 1 movie. It escalates events and tensions, leaving audiences ready to be launched into the action-packed sequel next year. The movie includes most of the events from the first half of the book, allowing viewers to be fully immersed and completely understand the suffering and desperation of the rebels and the evil nature of the Capitol.

A consensus among most fans of The Hunger Games is that Mockingjay is not their favorite book. Because the book is told solely from one point of view, it leaves readers somewhat detached from the rebellion. The movie, however, adds elements to the story that make the book’s narrative come alive, such as the added scenes of the rebels fighting for a revolution and of President Snow in the Capitol.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is full of great special effects, superb acting by Jennifer Lawrence and powerfully emotional scenes. The movie is a solid prelude to what should be an action-packed finale.

Being a part 1 movie, it occasionally seems to fall into the same rut as similar movies like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. To audiences, it might seem slow and anticlimactic, leaving the impression that it is missing an ending.

Anyone seeing a part 1 movie should keep in mind, however, that it is meant to be viewed with its second half. It might not always stand alone well as a movie because it was originally written as one whole, not two separate storylines.

On the Friday after its Thursday night opening, AMC Theaters’ YouTube series, AMC Movie Talks, uploaded a video reporting the movie made $17 million on the Thursday night opening night. It mentioned that while the $17 million is 33 percent less than that of the previous installment, Catching Fire, the new Mockingjay Part 1 is projected to become the highest grossing movie this year at the box office.

The second half, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, will come out exactly one year after Part 1’s release, Nov. 20, 2015.