Box Office Report: “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1”

Box Office Report: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

By Jack Heyden

Ever since the separation of the final Harry Potter book into two films, I have had a problem with prolonging a story for the sake of doubling your money.

It’s a great strategy for a production company to do so, but in this method you sacrifice the attention and overall interest of your audience. It seems as if the Hunger Games series reaches for the title of a new powerhouse in the industry of teen novel turned major motion picture; however, I believe its grasp does not quite capture its aim.

The first film was an interesting concept, and I thought the execution was solid. It was this first film that opened up the gate for the rest of the series to be turned into movies. Unfortunately, the second film was simply a repeat of the first, and now the third film lost me altogether because it stretched the context of the novel far too thin.

So here we are, with the first of two films designated to one novel that is widely considered to be the weakest of the series. As far as the film itself, I believe that it tries ever so hard to set up the finale of the fourth film, as opposed to delivering an interesting depiction of the first half of the novel.

Personally, I haven’t read the books, so I do not know what happens in the third installation, but I do know that as a moviegoer I was utterly uninterested in this film. I knew from the outset that it was going to end in disappointment. How could it not? There is no way to end a film like this without a cliffhanger, and if you aren’t an avid fan of the Hunger Games series, a cliffhanger is not what you are looking for.

The acting in the film is exactly what acting is in a fantasy epic: far from Oscar worthy. The cast is star studded from top to bottom, but even that cannot save me from disinterest. As I was watching, I also felt I was being handed every bit of information on a silver platter. I believe I speak for most viewers when I say that I don’t want to have every plot point outlined in dialogue, especially when watching a film as intellectually taxing as the contents of a middle school book fair selection.

It seems that Hollywood continues to move in this direction for adaptations. Whether it’s a comic book, a fiction novel or a reboot of a long forgotten storyline, “Mockingjay, Part 1” sits right in the middle of this pack of recurrent unoriginality.

Sadly, it is impossible for most people to avoid this film — at least when it comes to DVD — if they have already seen the first two. There is no shame in reading a poor review then deciding to watch something anyway. Many people will watch the first part of Mockingjay and decide that it lived up to their expectations, but I think that most will find it unfulfilling and dull.

There is only one place that this Hunger Games fiasco will end up; the only thing we do not know is what minor characters will get killed off between now and the end of the fourth film. I have no interest in finding out how this ends on the screen, and after watching this movie, I have no desire to pick up the third book and find out that way. The Hunger Games stories are lacking in breadth and do not live up to any contemporary films of their kind.

Unfortunately, we may not see another Harry Potter for a very long time. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” gets a FAIL on my end.

My Rating: 6/10