‘Mockingjay’ delivers best action yet


“Mockingjay – Part I” has the perfect balance of action, adventure and romance, and it’s filled with emotional impact. The film created and broke boundaries within the franchise, and Gale finally had more than one scene.

The first two “Hunger Games” films simply prefaced a massive revolution, but the third installment took its symbolism and action to another level. Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Katniss Everdeen, has morphed from being the emblem of the revolution against the Capitol to leading that revolution. “Mockingjay – Part 1” is surprisingly matured and reveals how our beloved characters have ripened since “Catching Fire.”

Characters were introduced, characters died and some characters were reborn, so to speak. Supporting roles President Alma Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee, portrayed by Julianne Moore and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, respectively, help bring the saga to another level.

There is humor throughout the film, courtesy of Haymitch Abernathy and Effie Trinkett, portrayed by Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks, respectively.

Some may argue that the love triangle between Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne has ruined the film series, but I strongly disagree.

The “Twilight” franchise does not remotely compare to “The Hunger Games,” but the deepening of the love triangle in this film was reminiscent of the Team Edward vs. Team Jacob thing. Perhaps it was intentional, seeing as pop-culture has conditioned us to crave the madness of watching love triangles spin out of control.

I’m confused as to whether I’m Team Peeta or Team Gale after watching this addition to the franchise. Either way, watching Gale grow more irritable over Katniss’ obvious growing compassion for the now partially insane Peeta was fulfilling.

Speaking of which, poor Peeta looks horrid in “Mockingjay – Part 1.” What I love about “The Hunger Games” is that the hero is a woman and the damsel in distress is a man. What I don’t love so much about “The Hunger Games” is the extent to which Peeta is tortured within this first installment of “Mockingjay.”

He’s been captured, along with other tributes, by President Snow and he is used as bait in The Capitol.
The film leaves us with a stressful cliffhanger, and now, the only thing left to do is wait an entire 12 months to see if Katniss Everdeen’s story ends satisfyingly. Of course, if you’ve read the book, then you needn’t wait a year to find out how the story ends.