Can you believe there are still people who trash talk The Hunger Games franchise? The comparisons to Twilight, and other mediocre YA franchises, have always been unfair, the series having suffered from holding similarities in common in terms of romance (which is 100% not the point of these movies), in addition to supporting the Nicki Minaj/Lady Gaga inspired costumes from the Capitol, which have been deemed silly (complaints that are usually voiced by the same crowd that went in droves to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron). But this series has always been about bigger things than building up a flashy fandom. It’s about oppression, the toll of war, and revolution.

Mockingjay: Part 1 did have the traditional Part 1 problem, in that it doesn’t have an ending or much payoff (not exactly a cardinal sin of serialized franchises), see Empire Strikes Back, a film that everyone loves.

One of my criticisms of the source material was how Katniss always seemed too passive – a criticism that was expunged when the movies used that to their benefit and actually explored the problem directly. It’s important to note that Mockingjay was the novel from Suzanne Collins’ series where Katniss finally became proactive in her own story (too little, too late for me), but since the movies have already handled that particular bit of characterization better onscreen, I can only imagine the amount of “holy shit” comments from audiences as the final movie plays out in November.

However, there are still some concerns for me.

Mockingjay as a book fell flat. Minus the aforementioned proactive Katniss, there was a disturbing amount of death that felt unearned (not all, but most), and the epilogue makes the penultimate Harry Potter sequence look like The Godfather Part 2. Again, given the improvements in the film series so far, I’ll still be looking forward to watching Katniss inspire the people of Panem one last time.