I instantly have a problem with a film franchise when they put money before making a quality piece of cinema.
That’s exactly what has happened with ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise.
The story of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)originates in the trilogy of books penned by Suzanne Collins but to maximise profit production company Colour Force the tale has been stretched over four films.
The first two Hunger Games films were entertaining with the second film the strongest so far.
Be that as it may, ‘The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part One’ feels too much like padding preparing the way for the grand finale with part two arriving late next year.
The first two instalments were full of drama and exciting action sequences but in the third offering there’s an awful lot of blubbering, shouting at television sets, running away and God awful boiler suits.
That’s not to say the film is not without merit. Towards the end of the movie a select team of six rebel soldiers enter PANEM’s capital undetected to attempt to rescue Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).
It’s arguably the best sequence of the entire film and is not unlike the way in which director Kathryn Bigelow filmed the US Navy Seal led operation to kill Osama Bin Laden in the amazing ‘Zero Dark Thirty’.
Lawrence is still convincing as heroine Katniss but she teeters on the edge of becoming extremely annoying at times.
There are plot holes big enough for Derry’s Peace Bridge to pass through but they pale into insignificance when compared with the lack of action.
The script is clumsy and awkward at times but one of the most enjoyable aspects of the film involves the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman (this film was one of his last before he died earlier this year).
At times, Mockingjay Part One feels derivative of films like ‘The Matrix’ but it does manage to remain on its own two feet.
The third movie is the weakest film so far and whilst it will certainly prove to be a financial success it would have been much more wholesome and satisfying had the powers that be opted to go with three films as opposed to four.
VERDICT: 3/5 - Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) does a lot of crying and grimacing in this, the third instalment of the Hunger Games. She would be best advised to take a chill pill. The lack of action in this films means that Katniss teeters on the edge of becoming annoying. That’s not to say the movie is not without merit. The raid on the capital towards the end is terrific and it sets next year’s finale up perfectly but unfortunately if felt a little too much like padding.