Cliffhanger keeps audiences hankering for more

Dylan Tan
Published Thu, Nov 20, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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GIVEN the choice, nobody wants to be an opening act but that's what The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is in Hollywood's attempt to milk the last dollar from the final instalment of the commercially successful franchise based on Suzanne Collins' best-selling young adult trilogy. After all, if Twilight and Harry Potter can do it, why not The Hunger Games, which has raked in US$1.5 billion around the world from the first two films alone.

The only problem is, it's the audience who pays the price as they sit through what is essentially a two-hour trailer for the true finale, which will only hit screens this time next year. So this feels like Cooling Off Day as director Francis Lawrence - coming off the back of last year's adrenaline-pumping Catching Fire - also appears to be working with his hands tied as the big action scenes one would expect after the last outing get replaced by dark political undertones instead.

Instead of kicking ass, the series' heroine, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) spends most of the film moping while holed up in the rebel District 13 hideout. For escaping from The Games, she reluctantly finds herself the new poster girl for democracy; something which doesn't go down well with the Capitol's tyrannical ruler, President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

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