For those of you who have read the Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins or have seen the first two films, you will feel right at home in the world of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, the third in the four part trilogy (yeah, I know) of the massive blockbuster book/movie franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence, of which I am not so ashamed to say I am a huge fan. This installment, however, is more a where-are-they-now/character study than a full-fledged, fleshed out, plot-driven, action-centered movie. Which isn’t to say it’s a bad thing, it’s just…different. Mockingjay – Part 1 clearly is setting the mood, tone, setting, pieces, players, motivations and stakes for the fireworks to come in the big finale—Part 2 (due next year). Or, as many would call it: The Big Cash Grab of 2014. But for those of us who are fully invested in these characters and this world, I didn’t mind spending quality time with them and I certainly don’t mind not being rushed towards the end. Nobody is forcing me to fork over the money for a ticket—if it’s worth it, I’ll spend it. Sure, this one may not have nearly the action we are used to, but it’s got much more time with actors—good actors, I’ll remind you—and it’s a world and characters we know and love. If you’ve come this far, you’ll go a little further and savor every morsel.
And for those of you who haven’t read the Hunger Games books or who haven’t seen the two previous Hunger Games movies, don’t bother seeing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. You’ll have absolutely no clue what is going on, who anybody is or what anyone is talking about.