The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 - Recap Review

What's good

- Expectedly strong performance by Jennifer Lawrence
- Offers new perspectives on the Hunger Games conflict
- Interesting themes regarding propaganda and mobilizing rebel forces, but... 

What's bad

- ...remarkable lack of action to balance out the numerous conversation/dialogue-heavy parts
- Its actually quite limited story content stretched out to roughly over 2 hours makes for many dragging scenes
- Many emotional moments are awkwardly and unconvincingly handled
- The movie feels rather anti-climactic and incomplete in itself


- Everyone of the rebels being armed with guns, yet Katniss, the famous heroine and "leader of the revolution", still only gets a bow and a couple of arrows to fight with.

The Verdict

Even though Mockingjay Part 1 succesfully manages to distinguish itself from its two predecessors by not actually featuring a Hunger Games tournament and instead focussing on different and new perspectives on the story's conflict between the rebels and the Capitol, like most notably propaganda to win over the faith of the people, Mockingjay Part 1 still feels very underwhelming in the sum of its parts.
Jennifer Lawrence expectedly does her best to make most out of the fairly highlight-less storyline of Part 1, but even she can't make up for the fact that Mockingjay Part 1 for the most part feels like very little actual story content has been stretched all to far into an overlong roughly over 2 hour long movie.
Most of the movie is taking place inside the secret rebel bunker base, in which there are many interesting insights given into how propaganda is being put to use with Katniss' persona to benefit the general attitude of the rebels, but one can't deny the fact that Mockingjay Part 1 is terribly short on actual action to balance out its over reliance on dialogue. The fact that important emotional moments and scenes are surprisingly bland, clicheed and unconvincing this time around don't make things much better for Mockingjay Part 1.

In the end, Mockingjay Part 1's biggest problem is right there in its title -  Part 1. With that said, Mockingjay Part 1 doesn't feel complete and satisfying as a story or at least full chapter in and on itself. Looking back at the limited amount of important key story moments that happened during this 2 hour movie, it's easy to realize that the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy hasn't been adapted into two movies now in order to convey the story in enough detail but primarily for financial reasons. With very little highlights, way too many dragging scenes due to an over-focus on dialogue that mostly centers around the same subjects, and uneven dialogue quality, Mockingjay Part 1 sadly doesn't turn out to be anything more than a bridge to the true actual finale that we really wanted to see, but only will get to do so next year.
Sure, to get the full gist of the story's entirety, people eventually cannot avoid watching Part 1 before Part 2 actually closes off the Hunger Games storyline. Yet, Mockingjay Part 1 is sadly the weakest entry in the franchise thus far and nowhere nearly as exciting as the trailers make it out to be. 
If you are no die-hard fan of the series who absolutely has to see it in theaters, Part 1 is easily recommendable to watch when it gets released on home video just to know from where Part 2 will pick up next year.

Final Verdict: 4 out of 10

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