the student newspaper of Shorewood High School

The Tempest

the student newspaper of Shorewood High School

The Tempest

the student newspaper of Shorewood High School

The Tempest

Reviewing the Hunger Games Movies

Are they worth the hype?
by Ellison Lu

As of November 17th, 2023, the prequel to “the Hunger Games” series and the last book written for the series was adapted into a movie. In honor of the fourth and potentially final installment of the series being released, I’m ranking the movies.

Mockingjay pt. 1:

Though this movie contains the necessary ideas to set up the plot of the closing story for the “Hunger Games franchise, it feels repetitive. The movie consists of Katniss (the main character of the series) attempting to find peace in the war, and finding people who will support that idea. These people are trying to fight against the capitol (the government) and one of their ways of doing that is by recording Katniss in propaganda videos or “propos”. These videos all have the same format, Katniss makes a shallow statement about how terrible President Coriolanus Snow (the president, practically a dictator) is and then Snow reacts to them.  Afterwards, Snow will create an obstacle which will then become the subject of the next “propo”, This entire process repeats. The one good thing about this repetitive process is that it shows the insanity evolving within the Capitol and throughout the districts. Throughout the movie, I couldn’t tell what was real and what was being filmed which just made it difficult to understand. In the previous movie, Catching Fire the ending consisted of Katniss shooting an arrow at the barrier that protected the arena surrounding the Hunger Games to prevent players from exiting. It felt wrong to sit through such a predictable plot after having such a dramatic thing happen at the end of the prior movie. I wish they had shown the progression between Katniss shooting the arrow at the barrier and the change of heart that the people around her had in greater detail.  This movie felt like filler. It would have been so much better had they added something of substance.

Mockingjay pt. 2:

The ending of the series was not satisfying. The decision that Katniss made at the end of the series made sense considering that her character wanted a peaceful world where she didn’t want to see the people she loved experience death. That said, it didn’t make sense to close the story. In the movie, both President Snow and the president of District 13 are killed due to wanting another one of the Hunger Games. I wish that this movie had shown life after President Snow and the president of District 13 had died in a realistic way. Showing the reparations that it would have taken to lead to a peaceful world would have improved the movie. If the 2 of those leaders were killed, chaos would continue to ensue and may even increase. The one thing that makes this better than pt. 1 was Haymidge and Effie Trinket’s(the people who mentored Katniss and Peeta in the first movie) full character development being displayed by the end of it. I liked this movie more than part 1 because it feels so much more engaging. The lack of repetition in pt. 2 makes the pace of the previous part faster.

The Hunger Games:

This movie captured exactly how I pictured the book would turn out. Though the satire on the Capitol wasn’t effective in its goal, I didn’t think that it reflected the issue at hand. Her chemistry with Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Amanda Stenberg (Rue), and pretty much all of the characters displayed a genuine and realistic interpretation of how she would have interacted with them. A scene from this movie in which the reaping takes place is an introduction, which is a perfect representation of the series. It shows the contrast between the ignorance of the people in the Capitol (like Effie Trinket) and those in the Districts. Their dystopian reality is shown through muted tones, while Effie is set at a higher point looking down upon them and standing out completely ignorant of their expressions. Effie’s brightly colored, extravagant outfits are noticeable and accurately reflect her eccentric self. This scene just does so much to introduce the divide between the capitol and the districts at this part of the story. This movie allowed viewers to dip their toes into the series without feeling too over or underwhelming.

Catching Fire:

Catching Fire made some bold decisions that made it all the more worth it from a viewer’s perspective. Though this movie follows a similar format to “The Hunger Games”, it is filled with interesting plot twists. Life in the districts was shown a lot more heavily in this movie than in its predecessor which captures the goal that the author had for the series.  Snow wants to kill Katniss because he thinks that she is the leader of the rebellion. He attempts to kill her by creating a Hunger Games for all of the previous winners. In the interviews, Katniss is wearing a dress designed by the first and only person who showed her empathy in the Capitol, Cinna. The dress involves imagery of the Mockingjay, a symbol of rebellion. As Katniss goes off to participate in the Hunger Games, she watches Cinna get murdered for promoting these ideals. I didn’t like how this movie showed Katniss in shock for a minute and it never gets brought up again. Later in the movie, she is shown navigating the obstacles of the Hunger Games. At the end of the movie, she shoots the barrier(see earlier paragraph). Such an important part of the series is the district’s low status so it is so important for them to show that.

Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes:

This movie’s main character is Snow, the man who continued the Hunger Games under his leadership. The movie takes place 64 years before the first “Hunger Games” movie did. From the beginning to the middle chunk of the story, Snow is portrayed as empathetic. The story is focused on the romance between him and Lucy Gray Baird, who ends up participating in the Hunger Games. Her being in the Hunger Games is what makes Snow more sympathetic to the other tributes. This movie is a lot newer than the other movies so it feels unfair to compare considering the difference in quality regarding special effects, and sound, especially having watched this movie in the theater and the other movies at home. That aside, I think it is still helpful to review it through the plot. The casting is perfect for the film and the chemistry is perfect. Had I not read the book, I would still believe those two things. This movie is formatted in a way that makes someone want to watch it. It flows nicely from scene to scene. With some of the movies, I was getting antsy towards the end and wanting to do something else but this movie kept me engaged. One thing that the film lacked in was transitioning Coriolanus Snow from being good to evil. 

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About the Contributors
Evelyn Mann
Evelyn Mann, Staff
I'm Evelyn Mann, I use she/her/hers and am going to be a staff reporter on the paper this year. I hope to do some art and photography as well. I love writing and drawing and I am excited to use those skills throughout the year!
Ellison Lu
Ellison Lu, Staff
Hello! I'm Ellison, and I'm a staff reporter on The Tempest. This will be my second year on The Tempest staff, and I plan on improving my art skills even more this time around.

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