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Evil Movie Review: The Mockingjay Part 1

Greetings evil-doers. I recently checked out the latest Hunger Games movie just for you all so that you could here me rant and rave about it. You know you were looking forward to this. I personally thought Catching Fire did a better job than the first Hunger Games movie so I was eagerly awaiting this latest film, though I am still pissed they divided it up in to two movies. And though I think it was not as good as the last film in the series, it had some good moments. Continue on for my spoiler-laden review of this latest Jennifer Lawrence movie.

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 Where did we leave off in movie #2? Why Katniss was having a breakdown after being rescued from the arena that she oh so cleverly blew up, but she broke down after finding out Peeta had been left behind. And that’s pretty much where we start up again. Katniss, this supposedly all powerful and heroic woman is still having a nervous breakdown over the traumas she has sustained and the fact that Peeta has been torn from her life. She is living with her family and the other survivors of the District 12 bombings in District 13, a rebel facility buried underground where the Capitol cannot know of its whereabouts.

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A female President Coin is trying to convince Katniss alongside Plutarch to become “The Mockingjay”, a figurehead for the rebellion. Of course Katniss wants nothing of it, cause she naturally only really cares about herself and those closest to her. Yup, that’s right, first rant of the post here. Katniss is a weak character. She is meant to be this strong, inspiring, selfless woman and she’s not. She’s not at all. I am not saying I did not love the books nor that I don’t love the movies, but for some reason watching this movie made me realize how bad of a person Katniss is. Pretty much the only thing that makes her seem strong is the series of unfortunate events, i.e. two Hunger Games, that she has had to endure. Otherwise, she is selfish, out of touch with reality, and has little ambition. Oh yeah, she looks good with a bow and arrow which is probably another reason she is loved. But otherwise I am really not a fan.

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Katniss agrees to become the Mockingjay but on one major condition: the victors still stuck in the Capitol be rescued and pardoned of any potential charged against them. Charges you ask? Well, President Snow has been using Peeta in particular to make public service announcements against the rebellion across all of Panem, so the soldiers of District 13 have come to hate him.

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Rant number 2 here…would people really do that? I understand that rebels want to have someone to hate and rally against, but why would you chose Peeta, a boy that you saw rescue Katniss, be more selfless than she ever was, and then probably get tortured and forced to make these public service announcements by the vicious Capitol. I mean, do they really think Peeta is doing it of his own accord? And how could anyone hate someone that was forced through the horror of the Hunger Games…twice?!?! I would like to think that the human race is not that cruel and can see beyond their particular interests, but who knows.

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Katniss agrees to become the Mockingjay, and then we start to have some fun. In particular, I love her camera crew, especially Cressida who is an escapee from the Capitol played by none other than Natalie Dormer from GoT legend. And we get some familiar faces that we all love: Haymitch and Effie. You really did start to feel sorry for Effie in the second movie when it was obvious she was realizing the Capitol and the Hunger Games she grew up taught to love was actually cruel and wrong. I love Effie in this movie because she retains her silly obsession with appearance and yet really speaks out and starts to have stronger moral beliefs. They did a good job with her character and she would be someone you would want as your friend in the rebellion.

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To sum up the movie basically Peeta and Katniss go on a public service announcement agenda battle, but you can see that Peeta is becoming more and more strained in his interviews, likely from being tortured by the Capitol. Eventually District 13 figures out how to break in to the Capitol in an attempt to rescue the hostaged victors there. But of course the plan goes all too smoothly. We find out this is because President Snow let it happen, and in the final shots of the film a deranged Peeta who has been tortured in to wanting to kill Katniss thanks to tracker-jacker venom attacks her as they reunite and nearly chokes her to death.

Actually these last scenes were probably some of the most well done in the whole movie. Peeta had been tortured, had lost a ton of weight, and his makeup team did a great job portraying that. He looked like he had been a recent prisoner of war. And then Katniss, in the scene where Peeta nearly breaks her throat, looks like a person being choked. I know that sounds weird, but the scene is really well done. Her eyes get bloodshot and bulgey almost immediately and her face starts to swell up as you here her wind pipe start to crackle. I know, sick that I enjoyed that scene, but I did not enjoy it for the grotesqueness of it, but for how believable and well done it was.

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And that’s it, that’s the end until we have to wait for Mockingjay Part 2 next year. I will take this time to go on a couple more rants for all you followers of mine. Firstly, I thought they did a good job with Finnick’s character. He too is strong, handsome, and sexy with a smile that could make you melt, but it is those very looks that resulted in him experiencing such brutal treatment after winning his first Hunger Games. He confesses during a speech aired while Peeta is freed that President Snow used to sell him to the highest bidder so that rich people in the Capitol could use him sexually.

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Next, one thing that was hard to believe in the movie (unlike the trachea crushing scene) was the size of various districts. On several occasions in the movie various groups of rebels still in the districts fought back and killed the Capitol’s peace keepers. This usually resulted in the death of many rebels, and led you to wondering how many people there are in the districts. They would occasionally list statistics about how many hundreds of people were killed in various rebellions but all the scenes featuring these skirmishes only showed a couple dozen, making the enormity of the secession less believable on the big screen.

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And I found myself wondering why I am drawn to these dystopian or post-apocalyptic stories. They are some of my favorites, but I don’t know why. Do I seem to think that I would somehow fare better than those in these stories even though there is nothing that makes me more special than the characters involved? I mean, I am moderately fit, though not a professional athlete. I am moderately smart, but not a genius. And probably the one thing that I have an excess of more than others (hence my career choice to be a veterinarian) is compassion. Sadly that would probably mean I would be less likely to survive an apocalyptic scenario. Oh well, I will continue watching and reading these sorts of stories and will have to contemplate my addiction to them for another post some day. Until next year rebels!

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Posted on December 5, 2014, in Evil Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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