I read Hunger Games recently, "eh, fast read". It was, but it was compelling, as was Catching Fire and then Mockingjay. The three movies have been excellent. The visuals of "the Capitol", and the "girl on fire" scenes added greatly to the value of the overall series, plus Jennifer Lawrence is the perfect Katniss. But the casting throughout has been fantastic, the actors have been able to completely embody the characters and the difficult times of this dystopian society.
But, as I have said before, Suzanne Collins did not write a "reality show". She created Panem, an unkind and unhappy existence for the majority of its citizens, an UNTHINKABLE custom which was imposed upon the lower districts, said districts seething in silent rebellion, and finally all out rebellion and in Mockingjay, WAR. If one desires to see a simple action movie, there are plenty to choose from, and I like action films..... But Collins did much more with her series. She showed the toll taken on the everyday lives of the citizens, but most especially the toll exacted from the Tributes of the Hunger Games. Remember when Good old President Snow announced the "Quarter Quell". Not funny, not challenging, no way, nothing but HORROR, panic, and tears for those who had to return to the arena. This is why Effie Trinket becomes a beloved character, she begins as the worst kind of shallow painted doll and grows into a person with a HEART. I read that her character continues in the movies when she did not in the books because she is such a favorite. But the Tributes are never allowed to find any recovery from the initial PTSD. That struggle is REAL and well played. Katniss cannot "act" at being the Mockingjay. (actually those scenes give one an appreciation for how difficult "green screen" acting must be at times)... She becomes the Mockingjay when she sees that she MUST. For Prim, for Rue, for all the kids who have died and those the Capitol so easily kills... (hospital scene)...And yet the Mockingjay is still a seventeen year old girl. Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss flawlessly, one minute shooting at jets and the next waking screaming from nightmares.
Yes, it might have been nice to see it all in one film, but the third book is very dark and three or over three hours would have been a lot to take. Yes, we hate to wait a year, but read the books again. WAR SUCKS, no matter the freedoms gained or the nobility in gaining them, or the fame of becoming a hero. WAR SUCKS and it damages people. Only Love helps. If one just craves action and noise, go see a Transformer movie. If one wants to be challenged and have something to ponder, this series delivers at every call. I think my favorite scenes are those crowds kissing the left three fingers and holding them aloft in silence. GOOD Good human stuff.