This is your biannual reminder as to why you should ignore the fad of dystopian YA movies.
I had no plans to see this movie, I really didn’t. And then five hours of sheer nothingness next to a movie theatre crept into my life so I caved. I saw it, supporting a franchise I have no desire to support. The hypocrisy is not lost on me.
Here’s the laundry list of things the movie did wrong:
It didn’t emphasize the black goop of death scene nearly enough. That scene could’ve been intense, powerful and scary (and should’ve constituted a bigger chunk of screen time considering how drawn out this movie was), but in the end it just happened to be a generic obstacle. No fun.
The mutt chase scene, just, what the hell. If I recall correctly from the books, weren’t the mutts actually dog-like creatures, hence the names? In this movie they look like the Falmer from Skyrim. STRAIGHT RIP-OFF. I’m not even kidding. Maybe they have a bit of the weird newborn Alien teased at the end of Prometheus thrown in, but besides that, the design team ripped Skyrim off directly. Ironically, for how much I’m bitching the scene itself was actually pretty great, until Finnick gets eaten and Katniss literally just looks down at the situation like she’s bored. Of all the times Jennifer Lawrence overacted in this movie, why not this scene. The world may never know.
Inconsistency with theme. The whole theme of the movie is to stand up for yourself and not be a pawn in someone else’s game, and yet the writers tried to make Prim nothing more than a pawn in their emotional narrative game. Never mind that it fails completely; it’s the hypocrisy that gets me. They think they can sell us one theme while using its very antithesis against us as a plot device? Pfffft.
That horrendous epilogue. There was no need for the twenty years later scene, or whatever the hell that was. They did it solely so Katniss could give one last monologue, and it was total crap so why include the bit at all? Especially since they didn’t bother to age Peeta or Katniss whatsoever ensuring total destruction of any suspension of disbelief.
There’s not one joke in this movie. That is terribly unrealistic. In real life, even in the worst stories of human abuse ever documented, there’s always that one person who’ll at least try to lighten the mood with humor because it’s what they do. Holocaust survivors have mentioned these types and there should’ve been one in this movie for sake of realism. Instead, it’s gritty and grey til the bitter end.
Everything is bland. There’s one or two set designs that were awesome, but they are insanely overshadowed by Four Hundred Shades of Grey: The Prequel.
And here’s what I liked:
The last thirty minutes, minus the epilogue scene. It was intense, gasp-inducing, particularly well shot, dramatic, basically everything the whole movie should’ve been. I’m not even going to cite that the whole “split the book in half” thing is the reason THIS movie sucked, no, that only hurt the last one. There was easily enough content in this one to make it interesting, they just really missed the ball on emphasizing what was actually important.
Two really great actors. Josh Hutcherson really brought it in a part of Peeta’s role I swore he’d drop the ball on, so props to him for encapsulating such a tough character transition so well. Also, Patina Miller was just awesome and charismatic and unlike any other character in this movie, I’d actually follow her into a fight after her pre-battle pep speech.
That’s it. If you’re going into this movie unexcited, it isn’t going to remedy the problem for you. Two great actors and a good final act don’t make up for the garbage that precedes it and makes up the bulk of the flick.