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“Mockingjay: Part 1” starves for attention

Penultimate entry in “The Hunger Games” franchise suffers from poor pacing, minimal action

With movie franchises trying to make as many films possible to capitalize on profits, the artistic integrity of making a single novel made into multiple movies is certainly questionable. For this, “Mockingjay: Part 1” seems dragged down by the fact too many people are already expecting the conclusion of “The Hunger Games” series. The movie lacks the intensity and involved plotline of the first two films.

And yet, though the movie does not have the fighting-centric action of the earlier installments, it does contain a significant amount of emotional intensity.

From the opening scene of the movie, the audience is introduced to a tired, grieving Katniss. She does not understand the entirety of the plan set out by District 13 and the rest of the rebels. The exposition details Katniss’ emotional journey as she grows into the Mockingjay, a symbol that becomes greater than Katniss herself and leads the resistance movement.

From the title sequence (as bland as District 13’s vomit-green uniforms) to the unnecessary scene in which Katniss and Gale almost go hunting, there were a lot of things in this movie which felt unnecessary. Many movie-goers will find themselves thinking the showing could have been about an hour shorter.

The movie has an incredibly slow pace. Beyond following Katniss’ internal struggles for two hours, not much else important happens. There is only one intense battle scene, one intense rescue operation and a scene in which Katniss plays with her sister’s cat while District 13 is being bombed.

This film makes it clear that its intent is not to make the viewer feel anything real. It exists to keep them interested in this franchise by introducing a few new characters and scripting a few lines for all the characters they already loved.

“Mockingjay: Part 1” won’t bring tears to your eyes or move you to the edge of your seat, but by the time the final credits roll, the excitement for the final installment of the series may just set in.