“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One”

Directed by Francis Lawrence

mockingjayAfter the last “Hunger Games” film (which was brutally bad) I’m elated to report that this film is not a blood-laden homage to teen murder. No, I found this film fascinating for exactly the reason most critics are killing it…it’s pace. It’s a slow-moving, microscopic examination of propaganda and the forces that determine what we know and what we THINK we know about those in control of our country/world and the information-givers they’ve employed to communicate their message. Thanks to Lawrence, Hoffman, (the criminally under-noticed) Mahershala Ali, and, to a lesser extent, Harrelson, Jeffrey Wright and Julianne Moore, the stakes feel high and the “Hollywood” presence feels minor. If, like me, you didn’t read the books, and, like me, thought the first two films were heinous morsels of “Death Race 2000”-esque strangeness, BUT, like me, feel like you’re “already invested, so I might as well see it”, I think you’ll like this one much more than the previous two.

Trailer here.

Originally reviewed on 12/2/2014

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