Jennifer Lawrence is back as Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1.”  Rescued by the rebellion at the end of “Catching Fire,” Lawrence isn’t given much time to heal mentally as she is needed to galvanize the districts into fighting tyrannical President Snow (played by Donald Sutherland) and the Capitol.  Reluctant at first to be the voice of the rebellion, Lawrence realizes the power that she wields: the power to help end Sutherland’s savage and depraved rule, and thereby hastening the rescue of her special friend, Peeta (played by Josh Hutcherson). Lawrence volunteers to go to the front lines of combat in order to show the people that she is still alive and incite them into action against Sutherland.

One of my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when Lawrence sings “The Hanging Tree,” a creepy song that would give many the chills if it were listened to in the dark and the lyrics are paid attention to.

Another scene of “Mockingjay 1” that made my memorable, movie moments list is the one where the rebel soldiers fast rope into the Tribute building to rescue Hutcherson.  This is something I expect from a Jack Ryan movie — I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed.

Top place for my most memorable, movie moment of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” is the scene when Tribute Finnick (played by Sam Claflin) describes how “desirable” Tributes are sold by Sutherland to upper echelon fans for sexual exploitation.  If a Tribute refuses, a relative of the Tribute would be killed by the government!

If the “Hunger Games” movies were alcoholic beverages, “The Hunger Games” would be a wine cooler, “Catching Fire” would be a beer, and “Mockingjay Pt. 1” would be a shot of vodka.  The third part of the “Hunger Games” movies, “Mockingjay Pt. 1” is the most serious and intense of the first three; but surprisingly it was the least engaging to me.  Whereas the first two movies often showed children fighting for their lives and dying in brutal fashion, “Mockingjay 1” is clearly an adult fight.  Sure, kids dying are mentioned, and there is a scene of a “hospital” where wounded children are shown; but this is a far cry from child-Gladiator arena combat in movies 1 and 2 that shocked most of the audience and had us asking so many questions and hoping Lawrence and the little kiddies would somehow survive the games.  “Mockingjay 1” is a good movie, nonetheless, and it is a logical third step in this four-movie series that won’t disappoint the fans.

— M