Talk about war and peace.
Katniss Everdeen rests.
The fourth and likely finale in the Hunger Games franchise that started with the girl who fired an arrow into the hearts of so many in 2012 landed in America’s theaters this pre-Thanksgiving weekend with its snowballing success and great expectations for star Jennifer Lawrence and the cinematic work of director Francis Lawrence and script by Peter Craig and Danny Strong
And for 137 minutes, the couple-dozen people at the Regal Cinemas’ Shoppingtown complex theater for a late Friday matinée soaked it up quietly, groups of teens perhaps already taken by The Hunger Games novels of Suzanne Collins, and certainly women of various ages there to admire the strength, intelligence and emotional range of the leader of the rebels, Everdeen.
The story does not disappoint, putting Katniss and her tight and dwindling group in enough dastardly dystopian situations as they wind their way through the dark future world toward the mansion home of President Snow. Donald Sutherland smugly smiles his way through the battles as he attempts to remain in control of Panem, mind-controlling the factions as Everdeen and rebels attempt to finish the mission of President Alma Coin. Julianne Moore is equally assured in her own way, leading her panel that includes small but significant roles from familiar faces played by Woody Harrelson, and even bittersweetly the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Out in battle, the rebels face scary black ooze thrown at them by snow and an internal battle unleashed by events and mind games. But the most frightening scene comes underground, with startling beings that make ‘gators look like cute and friendly puppy dogs.
Through it, Katniss also has to deal with matters of the heart, family wise and romantic, too, as actors Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth as Gale again take turns helping her really and haunting her thoughts.
If you haven’t read the last book, the ending is nicely twisty.
OK, the studio could, down the line, try to bring Katniss back, considering Jennifer Lawrence’s rising star and if this fourth part continues to cha-ching …
Do you think a movie franchise should end with the books from which it came, or be extended with new scripts if it successful? If you’ve been part of ‘The Hunger Games’ craze, what drew you in? What’s your favorite Jennifer Lawrence movie, and why?