*no spoilers alert!
I finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy in high school. By the time that this last movie hit theaters, I'd forgotten most plot details (and that there was even another movie). But I went to see it with a friend who hadn't read the series or seen the movies, so gave us both a refresher: thank you, Wikipedia.
We reserved seats ahead of time thinking there'd be an evening rush at 8 p.m. on the first Friday after its release. The theater wasn't as packed as we'd prepared for, but it was the first time I enjoyed all the new trailers (nothing too big to be excited about, just another Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper flick).
There's still opportunity of a post-Thanksgiving rush, but this movie performed the worst in the box office of the entire series (which is still impressive in comparison to other movies). But in comparison to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which brought in more than $1 billion worldwide, this movie fell short of in-series and part two expectations.
While I'm referencing it, I'm a Potter fan and I can understand why that last book had to be split in two — that last one was the longest, with approximately 600+ pages. And I spent three whole days with my nose in it. The only reason I can see for Mockingjay to be split in two is for revenue, but it stretched the plot too thin. I missed three minutes sprinting to and from the restroom, but a majority of the movie was action scenes or waiting for someone to die. I guess this might be representative of the book itself, but I saw it as further evidence that the book did not need to be split.
Unlike the previous movies, there wasn't a breakout scene, quote or gimmick that was ingrained into my brain when I left, save the blatant momentary foreshadowing at the end of the movie ("Mockingjay, may your aim be as true as your heart is pure." on-point delivery by Julianne Moore)
The star-crossed entourage (better than Taylor Swift's) who traveled with Katniss to the capital was decent. Finnick (sigh, favorite) and Annie can't help but remind me of Tonks and Remus (Harry Potter again, #sorrynotsorry) and the entire time, I was rooting for Cressida (SO B.A.) and empathizing with Pollux. The movie was fun to watch, but come without expectations (try to, if you've seen the previous movies). The big parts of the plot are squished and the action is stretched, but the graphics and cast made it entertaining.
Here's to the end of your breakout series Jennifer Lawrence — may the odds be ever in your favor.