As appetizer, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ is unsatisfying

November 20, 2014 5:06 AM

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As appetizer, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ is unsatisfying

I haven’t read “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” — I made it through the first two novels and then got sidetracked — but I have it on good authority that the new movie “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” covers only about 30 to 40 percent of the book. This is like stopping “Gone With the Wind” before Scarlett clutches the turnip and vows to never go hungry again, or halting “The Wizard of Oz” after the Tin Man and before the Cowardly Lion. It’s a cheat, a cash grab, and it makes for 125 dystopian minutes of set-up with no resolution. But come back next November, folks, and we’ll show you the rest! They should have called it “Mockingjay, Part 1 — The Shakedown.” Or “The Hunger Games 3: Rubble Without a Cause.”

This half-installment dispenses with the sadistic but dramatic killing competitions that gave Suzanne Collins’s trilogy of novels their name and reason for being. Without that arresting gimmick, the project deflates with a hiss. “Mockingjay — Part 1” follows reluctant hero Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer...

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