Review: To Shill a Mockingjay Part 1


“Your girl on fire has burned out,” Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) tells District 13 President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore). The incendiary female he refers to is Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a victor in the last two Hunger Games and now a refugee from Panem’s President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Katniss’s emotional temperature has cooled; she’s dazed and confused, depressed and logy, and so is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1, the third in a four-movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ YA trilogy.

The first two Hunger Games installments earned more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office, so the new film’s makers—director Francis Lawrence and screenwriters Peter Craig and Danny Strong—dispense with a lengthy recap of the story thus far. Katniss simply whispers a skeletal précis of the plot in the first 15 seconds. In a sentence: War is on; she’s in the underground District 13…

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