First Hit: I was barely able to watch, let alone like, the screen for its 137 minute running time.
I thought that Part 1 was one of the worst of this series until I watched this final film of the 4 part series. I enjoyed the original film, the second, “Catching Fire”, was too long and wasn’t up to the first film’s stature.
Part 1 (#3 in the series) was one very long uneventful setup for Part 2 (#4). This series started on a high note and fell into the gutter. For instance, what was the fighting scene in the sewers about? It had no value except to get some people killed and make Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) feel more pain to spur her on.
The ending was obvious and exposed way too soon. There was no surprise (reminded me of the line from a Who song: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss). The acting in most cases seem stilted and without feeling, like the actors just wanted to get through it.
Watching a purposefully elongated story was absolute torture. It is hard for me to conceive of people with active and useful brain cells objectively watching this film and thinking it is good. There is nothing that I can say that is good about this film except I don’t ever have to watch another Hunger Games film again.
Lawrence was good at times but generally, it felt as though she wanted it to be as over with as I did. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta had one of the most difficult and awkward roles. As a plot ploy, he had to pretend to be both in love with and be a hurtful enemy of Katniss. It’s difficult to pretend to be brainwashed and Hutcherson didn’t pull it off. Liam Hemsworth as Gale was a poorly executed character. His role of hero martyr felt stilted and without soul. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch tried to bring adult thinking to the role – he failed because the film failed to make it important. Donald Sutherland as President Snow, did his job and it felt like it. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Pluarch was painful to watch because it’s a lousy role, his performance poor, and it is the last time we’ll see him in a new film – sad. Julianne Moore as the new President Alma Coin was so below her recent performances that I cringed. Peter Craig and Danny Strong’s script was lazy, without interesting dialogue, and bloated. Francis Lawrence’s direction provided little interest and absolutely no excitement.
Overall: I wanted to leave the theater so bad that I felt like a runner waiting for the starting gun and when final credits began to role – like a flash I was gone.