Saving the big action for the finale, this penultimate episode in the Hunger Games saga based on Suzanne Collins’ trilogy is dour, dark and talky as Jennifer Lawrence’s renegade warrior Katniss Everdeen reluctantly joins the propaganda battle against fascistic President Snow (Donald Sutherland) while her friend Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) becomes a propaganda tool for the other side. With much of the action confined to the insurgents’ underground bunkers, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 matches Katniss’s sombre mood as it explores the pros and cons of revolution and the manipulative power of propaganda. Even Elizabeth Banks’ bubble-headed fashionista Effie Trinket looks drab. But just as Katniss’s iconic presence proves uplifting for the story’s downtrodden masses, Lawrence’s charisma keeps us the audience on side, too.
Certificate 12A. Runtime 123 mins. Director Francis Lawrence.
Available on Blu-ray, DVD, limited edition Blu-ray Steelbook and digital platforms from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
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