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Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Katniss Everdeen is back in action in this third installment of the Hunger Games series.  The first movie was so-so, the second movie was basically a much improved remake of the first movie.  This installment is a complete departure and feels like a completely different franchise, which is a good thing.

Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic as usual.  Josh Hutcherson is seldom seen as Peeta Mellark.  Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch is under-utilized with only a few minutes of screen-time that I can recall.  As was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Plutarch Heavensbee, but from what I understand his untimely passing prior to the films completion was a large part of that.

The film picks up shortly after the events of the previous installment, with all of the districts in full revolt against the capital with Julianne Moore’s President Alma Coin leading the charge and Katniss serving as the symbol of hope.  This is probably the least action we’ve seen in this franchise, but the suspense and drama are plenty to hold your attention.

The franchise keeps getting better with each installment.  So much so that I think they need to go back and remake the first movie.  Like the last installment, this one ends on a cliffhanger that will lead directly into the next and final film.  I’m not sure they needed to break this into two parts as there is some drag, but overall this was a fun movie and I’m curious to see what happens in the finale.

Grade: B+

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