‘Mockingjay Part 1’ fails to catch fire

January 20, 2015 — by Caitlin Ju

When the first half of “Mockingjay” premiered on Nov. 21, I was honestly excited. I had been surprisingly impressed by the previous movie in the trilogy, “Catching Fire” and was ready for an action-packed ride. I had even bought my tickets online and arrived earlier than I normally would for a movie.

When the first half of “Mockingjay” premiered on Nov. 21, I was honestly excited. I had been surprisingly impressed by the previous movie in the trilogy, “Catching Fire” and was ready for an action-packed ride. I had even bought my tickets online and arrived earlier than I normally would for a movie.

As I settled into my seat and began to chomp on my popcorn, my heart raced with excitement in the anticipation of the extremely hyped premiere of the movie.

But I was sorely disappointed.

Once the movie finally started, I found myself dragged through a movie completely overshadowed by its predecessor.

I have never been a “super fan” of “The Hunger Games” trilogy, which tells of a dystopian society that has children fight to the death in an annual competition called the Hunger Games.  One of these participants is Katniss Everdeen, who is played by acclaimed actress Jennifer Lawrence.

Still, I consider myself adequately knowledgeable in that I have read all the books, watched the past two movies, and find myself looking on Hunger Games wiki more than I should.

But my interest in the series dwindled as I watched this movie. Instead of experiencing the same quality of “Catching Fire,” I was met with more than two hours of what I can best describe as “Katniss getting very emotional after visiting places.” As every minute passed, my patience decreased tremendously.

Besides the obvious lack of action and excitement with the exception of one scene, a few aspects of the movie did not match the tone of the book. Katniss’s friend Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth, seemed more distant than he should have been.

Many of the characters, especially President Coin, the leader of the long-lost District 13, were poorly developed. In addition, an essential character Enobaria, a tribute famous for her fangs and one of the last seven victors left alive at the end of the book, was extinguished altogether, and replaced by Effie, Katniss’s escort who now joins her in District 13.

To add on to the aforementioned, one major acting performance fell flat of expectations. Lawrence had several emotional, challenging —  and disappointing — scenes in the movie. Failing to attain the level of despair and fervor needed to embody Katniss, Lawrence’s overall performance did not reflect her usually witty and impressive acting performances.

Most of all, the ending felt like one major awkwardly abrupt cut. The directors should have ended the story earlier and with a different, more appropriate scene. In retrospect, the last book should not have been split into two movies. The plot was just not nearly well developed enough to move the movie adequately along to interest viewers, and the last half of the book would have brought the necessary action to please the audience.

Despite the disappointment from Part 1, I’ll be expecting a lot more from “Mockingjay: Part 2” when it debuts Nov. 20. Maybe the fire will finally catch again.