By Fred Arnold
Katniss: the girl on fire, the beauty on screen, the heart of the rebellion. She is District 13’s most valued hero but her own worst enemy. As the picture started, one thought crept into the mind of the audience: “It feels like the other two movies.” That, in itself, is a potent analysis of the beginning of the third installment for The Hunger Games, which left a lot to be desired within the later minutes of the movie. The graphics were superb, the acting quite magnificent, but those two boons fell shot; a bad story line is still a bad storyline.
On the plus side, a dark quality emanated from the recesses of District 13 that Jennifer Lawrence made her own. She played the role of shattered teenage youth quite well, but did the drastic half-hobbled turn of character break the ambiance that was The Hunger Games and Catching Fire? Should she have retained her sassy spunk that left all satisfied from the first two movies? Regardless of the downfalls within Lawrence’s new character, her performance was quite remarkable. Nostalgia, however, breaks free when looking back at the fiery attitude of a girl screaming, “I volunteer! I volunteer as Tribute!”, and the idea that Katniss might never break free of her troubled mind. Mockingjay is the third book in the series, and it forced Katniss through a character change that will obviously be placed within the movie. Where there once was a strong, independent character, there is now a mentally crippled and psychologically damaged shadow. That is the turn the movie will have to make for the sake of the book, but can the fans who have not read the series accept it?
The character transformation of Katniss might not be acceptable for most, but the producers did well with the execution and detail of District 13. An underground fortress tends to be a relative bore, but the homey nature brought a touch of reality to the city that was lacking in the book. Also, a majority of the action within the book is portrayed through Katniss, so the producers had an opportunity to unleash their imagination in a way that the first person point of view could not. Jaw dropping graphics, on the edge suspense, and the death of a desperate Capital keeps the viewer entertained. But, as stated above, the continued break down of the world’s beloved Katniss seemed to break away from these strong points.
The movie is a must see for anyone who enjoyed the first two movies, but do not expect to see Katniss in the thick of the rebellion, fighting off President Snow’s advances, and taking a bullet for her companions – District 13 only needed a mascot, after all.
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