Watch it before it leaves: ‘The Hunger Games’

Critically acclaimed film series to leave Netflix in three days



Protagonist Katniss Everdeen watches as District 8 is engulfed in flames in Mockingjay – Part 1. The Hunger Games franchise came to a chilling end in the movie’s sequel: Mockingjay – Part 2.

The multimillion dollar franchise “The Hunger Games” has made its way onto Netflix. While fans across the globe are delighted, the series will only be available for one month. Are the movies worth the binge?

I definitely think they are.

The Hunger Games

With Katniss Everdeen’s arrow, “The Hunger Games” hit a bull’s eye or, at the least, somewhere near it.

The movie sticks to the original book fairly well, but it does have a few blips. These small deviations don’t alter the story’s plot much or hinder the viewer’s watching experience. I rewatched “The Hunger Games” after not reading the books for years, and I realized that it was definitely a better movie than I had previously given it credit for. A movie will never be as good as the books it’s based on, but if you choose to watch “The Hunger Games” without the books as a premise, it is amazing. Even when stacked up against other dystopian books turned movies, “The Hunger Games” is definitely in my top three.

The movie was a little fast-paced, which ended up affecting how much sympathy I had for both the characters and their situations. I was only moved at two big moments in the movie and still ended up quickly moving on. I wish the relationships between characters were more developed, specifically the one between Katniss and Rue, because quite frankly, I felt like a lot of these relationships were thrusted upon me and I just had to know what was going on, which may make watching the movies without reading the book a bit challenging.

Nevertheless, it’s difficult to fit a 300-plus page book into a two-hour movie and the fact that “The Hunger Games” was able to successively do this is impressive. I applaud the effort and believe that the movie is definitely worth the watch.

Catching Fire

If “The Hunger Games” were a 10/10 movie, then “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” would break the scale. This movie was a beautiful sequel to “The Hunger Games.” From the acting to costume design, “Catching Fire” improved in almost every aspect of movie making. It was the hook that motivated me to continue watching the rest of the movie saga.

I enjoyed “Catching Fire” a lot more than the original movie, especially for its plot. Though I can’t give the movie any credit for this, I can assure you that the plot execution was as close to perfect as possible. The pacing, compared to the original movie, is phenomenal, and I do feel a better connection to the characters. There are more show-stopping moments that really make you think about morals, experiences, and just life in general. In comparison to “The Hunger Games,” “Catching Fire” is a huge step-up.

If I were to critique “Catching Fire,” I would talk about Katniss and Peeta’s relationship. Because of the lack of narration from Katniss (something I dearly miss from the books), I never really knew what was going on between the two main characters. What was real? What was fake? Despite this, I still loved the movie, and this one flaw did not affect how much I enjoyed “Catching Fire” at all.

If I had to choose a favorite movie out of this series, it would be “Catching Fire.” I highly recommend this movie and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The mockingjay is a symbol of rebellion in The Hunger Games. It was a recurring theme throughout the series. (Haset Mekuria)

Mockingjay – Part 1

The acting is impeccable. Like always, the movie’s cinematography was great, and the visuals did not fail to amaze me while watching. Other than that, I don’t have much to say about this film. It seemed slow and stretched out, which made it harder to watch compared to the previous two movies. I found myself only watching for the sake of completing the series. This was definitely not one of my favorites.

I wouldn’t go as far to say this movie was a let-down. The movie is great in theory. An action-packed revolution featuring star-crossed lovers? It may sound interesting, but in all honesty, it was just okay. If it weren’t for the movie’s above average graphics and the already developed storyline, I would never have finished it. This movie just wasn’t my cup of tea, and to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend it if it weren’t for the film’s ending.

The movie ends at a cliffhanger that will leave readers at the edge of their seats, rushing to play the next and final installment of “The Hunger Games series: Mockingjay – Part 2.”

Mockingjay – Part 2

This riveting conclusion to “The Hunger Games” saga did not disappoint. While this film might be the lowest scoring in terms of audience ratings, I believe that the movie tramples “Mockingjay – Part 1” in terms of intrigue.

The film picks off where its prequel left off and answers any questions that the last film might have left readers with. This, coupled with the movie’s chilling plot, left me feeling satisfied with the ending of the series as a whole. Of course, the movie did have a few flaws; there were certain moments I wished were given more attention (particularly the deaths of certain characters) and a few emotional points in the film seemed to fall flat. These faults were easy for me to look past because of the movie’s weaving webs of plot twists that kept me hooked to my laptop screen.

The tense political climate and constant fear in “Mockingjay – Part 2” sets it apart from its prequel. This contributed to my overall enjoyment of the movie. Because of this intensity, I was a lot more emotionally invested than I was during “Mockingjay – Part 1.”

In hindsight, both of the Mockingjay installments of “The Hunger Games” series can’t compare to “Catching Fire” and the original movie. There’s just something so gripping about the first two movies that I had to watch the last two, which is the beauty of “The Hunger Games” franchise: its ability to draw you in. I urge you to watch “The Hunger Games” movies before March 31 while they’re still on Netflix. Don’t put it off!