Dir. Francis Lawrence
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Read the newspaper version of this review at: The Luton News
As the hit ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’ by Lorde from the soundtrack says “This is the start, of how it all ends…” and it’s fitting because Mockingjay Part 1 is exactly that, the first part of the conclusion to the massively popular teen friendly near future dystopia-em-up…
Picking up immediately after The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, we join the plucky heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) who in the aftermath of the 75th Games has been whisked away to District 13 by the anti Capitol rebels led by Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and President Coin (Julianne Moore).
But rebellion doesn't come easy, especially as Katniss’ childhood friend Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) was left behind, captured and is being used by evil Capitol President Snow (Donald Sutherland) to spread moral sapping propaganda messages.
What’s a girl to do? Well Katniss takes on being the rebels’ symbol of resistance – the Mockingjay – and inspire those sworn to take down the corrupt Capitol regime in planning just how they might fight for freedom for all the Districts.
As the Capitol begin to up the ante by blanket bombing District 13, the rebels strike back by knocking out one of the main hydro-electricity dams which disrupts power to their anti air defences and allows for a potential daring mission led by Katniss’ romantic interest Gale (Liam Hemsworth). As Katniss says: “I have a message for President Snow: If we burn, you burn with us!”
"Don't say 'Stormtroopers'"
So Mockingjay moves the action beyond the original Hunger Games, and replaces the life & death arena struggles with grittier bigger picture all out civil war. Having not read the books I was pleasantly surprised because I wasn’t looking forward to any more ‘games’ and was wondering where author Suzanne Collins’ was going to take the action.
With kick ass special effects, several nail-biting set pieces and an overall ramp up of tension, Mockingjay delivers not just an interesting political element but also a rousing human spirit adventure which is well worth checking out for fans of the books and sci-fi movie lovers too.
As this is only ‘Part 1’ the end of Mockingjay is left hanging meaning that viewers will have to come back and find out how it all ends.
And to pass the time it is well worth checking the soundtrack album which as well as Lorde has new tracks by Chvrches and Chemical Brothers.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3.5 - Holding pattern till pt 2)
Awesomeness ööö – The rescue mission is the stand out scene
Laughs öö – not much
Horror öö – Capitol aren't friendly
Babes ööö – Lawrence wears good armour
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - values or propaganda?
Recommended Hashtags: #FireIsBrightInDarkness