Hello and welcome to a brand new feature here on G33k P0p where we take an entire series of movies or games and give a quick review of each one and then decide which one is the best entry in the entire series. We’re starting this off with the recently concluded Hunger Games series, but be warned that this does contain spoilers for THE ENTIRE HUNGER GAMES SERIES OF MOVIES AND BOOKS so read ahead at your own risk.
So the first Hunger Games movie was the one that started a massive multi million dollar franchise however it looks horribly low budget when compared to the later movies. The heavy use of weird low saturation shaky cameras added to the gritty dystopian realism that is shown more in this film than any of the others.
It keeps more closely to the books in how it focuses greatly on how unfair the games are and how there is a great sense of hopelessness against the Capitol. The fact that Katniss is presented more as just a normal person here also helps to add the realism. However scattered among a few less than notable things from the books missing in the film was one crucial detail that they decided to cut. In the books Peeta had his leg amputated and replaced with an artificial one after the games ended, this later affected him in the second arena in Catching Fire.
Whilst the first film in any franchise is basically walking in totally unknown territory, this movie carved a path that has been followed by many YA movie series’ since. Whilst flawed this is the movie that started a trend in cinemas that is unlikely to go away any time soon. Plus it introduced the world to the lovable Jennifer Lawrence so that always earns it a few points.
The second movie felt like it had a huge budget increase, with new uniforms for the peacekeepers, more CGI hovercrafts and a better look at locations like the Capitol. It also felt like the colours were much more vivid and there was less weird shaky camera angles.
We also got to see more of the rebellion slowly building, we only got one fleeting scene in the first movie. Katniss’ social group expands greatly during her second visit to the arena and considering that the tributes mostly escape at the end, they can afford to develop the characters more because they stick around for a while.
With Katniss’ mind being greatly affected by the first games we do get some scenes with her PTSD but sadly there are fewer than one would hope. This movie does mark a turning point as the series loses it’s political satire and becomes much more focused on the action. My personal favorite scene is when Plutarch and Katniss are dancing and Plutarch is dropping subtle hints to his ties with the rebellion.
The first part of the final entry is often considered by many to be the weakest movie, some even consider it to be just a cash grab. However if this movie had not been made then none of the final film would make any sense because you need to show the first part to understand the second. Plus now that the final movie has been released I am grateful that they did split it into two movies because the second part is wonderfully made.
However a lot of the time it feels like the key scenes have a lot of needless filler in between just to make a longer movie, yet the additions of well written and well acted characters like Jackson and Pollux (our first real encounter with an avox). Two of my personal favorite additions to this movie are Boggs and Cressida who both feel like characters who are genuinely on Katniss’ side.
Yes this film totally feels like it is building up to the second part but you could say that every film was building up to the ending. This is a wonderfully made film and is an example of a two part film being done well. Like really well.
Final movie spoilers will follow so be warned. This movie destroys your feelings, it takes your heart and tears it apart then eats it. So many people die, almost everyone I said “Yeah they are so great” about in this review is now dead. We also see the return of political satire in this movie and that feels great, there is one moment in one scene that has a ton of hidden symbolism. During Snow’s execution you see Coin dressed in almost white and Snow dressed in black, for one moment they look like they are either side of Katniss’ head like and angel and the devil.
The scene in the tunnels with the muts feels like it was taken straight from a horror movie with a wonderful soundtrack and many fakeouts that keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The muts themselves are wonderfully terrifying albeit nothing like how I imagined them. But this movie is amazingly true to the book and this adds some real joy to watching it.
However the death of a certain young character did not get the emotional treatment it deserved in my opinion, they spent a lot longer dealing with the deaths of other characters than they did here. However Boggs’ is the most emotional of all the deaths in the entire movie.
This is it, the decision to pick the winner of the Hunger Games for Hunger Games movies.
4 Catching Fire
3 Mockingjay Part 1
2 The Hunger Games
1 Mockingjay Part 2
So that wraps up my review of the entire Hunger Games series and thus yet another of my favorite things comes to an end. I will now go and cry in a corner until The 5th Wave releases. Keep it G33k.