Movie Review: Mockingjay (Part 1)

Mockingjay

Knowing that audiences were to be served only a portion of the third book in Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” trilogy; leaving partially satiated appetites, unanswered dilemmas, lacking the magnetism of previous “Game” movies; light on energy, heavy on angst; difficult to be invested in the half-baked. The commencement is ploddingly slow: “Katniss Evergreen” (abundantly talented Jennifer Lawrence) must psychologically accept the annihilation of her district, death and resurrection of lover “Peeta” (stilted performance by Josh Hutcherson); the “Diana” of this dystopian universe once again must come to the fore as its heroine, “Mockingjay” (melodic, winged songster), rally the rebels and fight against the totalitarian capital and its dictator, “President Snow” (slimy, sensational Donald Sutherland).

Directed by Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer) and starring a hefty -talented crew: born-again Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson; stunning visual effects; a landscape laden with cosmic destruction, but bereft of mythic electricity; satisfaction in abeyance, one must wait for the prevalence of justice, eventual soaring of the “mockingjay” and the “happily ever after” in a world deficient, cauterized from twenty-first- century “archaic” conveniences.