Star-crossed lovers destined to die returned to the big screen Friday morning at midnight, not only capturing the attention in the imaginary city of Panem, but satisfying the “hunger” in real life countries across the world. The sequel brought home $70.5 million dollars. Experts say that it is right on track to reach the previous movie’s gross of $152.5 million.
The second film follows Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark on their journey together as victors and tributes. I was extremely impressed by their casting of Johanna and Finnick, two victors and tributes for the Quarter Quell. Having reached the 75th year of the Hunger Games, President Snow finds a great way to shock the people of Panem and all 12 districts. Having read the trilogy many times, I was extremely happy with the way director Francis Lawrence brought the best selling novel onto the big screen. He did a great job of surprising everyone, including the readers who thought they knew everything.
I have to admit that some special effects weren’t necessary, most of them occurring at the President’s mansion at the end of the Victory Tour. The make up was amazing and I applaud the artists that had to apply and re-apply everything day after day in order to bring this book to life. I was also amazing at how the actors were able to do so many stunts, most including water, and still have great make up.
The acting in this movie was spot on and each and every character was believable, whether or not they had a speaking part or not. I loved the incorporation of the past in this movie and I have to applaud the acting skills of Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutchinson.
Two of my favorite character developments were Haymitch Abernary (played by Woody Harrelson), a past District 12 victor and mentor to the two young victors/tributes, and Effie Trinket (played by Elizabeth Banks). I loved the way that both actors fed off of each other’s reactions and the way that they made their characters larger than life in a sense of their moral qualities and emotional development. Finnick, played by actor Sam Claflin, was also another interesting character to watch grow and learn. At first he is characterized as arrogant and as the film progresses you get to see different sides of him which help you fall deeper and deeper in love with him and his character. The relationship between all of the characters also makes the movie that much more interesting.
The toughest part of the whole movie was trying to keep from crying. More than once, I found myself crying and would look over to the people next to me and see there faces shimmering with tears as the light from the screen reflected off of their faces. The rest of the time we were laughing or hiding behind complete strangers. The only comic relief in this movie is Katnis’ sarcasm.
I’d give this movie a 10 out of 10. In my opinion, I don’t think it could’ve gotten any better. It was much better than the first and it makes me excited for what is coming in the last remaining movies. Mockingjay Part 1 comes out November 21, 2014 in the USA and Part 2 comes out not long after.
I would definitely recommend seeing this movie. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a family movie, but anybody thirteen and over wouldn’t have a problem.
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