Taking a cue from NBC’s tried-and-true “make it 1997 again through science or magic” business model, studio Lionsgate has decided that its best bet would be to return to the safe bosom of 2012. That was a simpler, kinder time for the production and distribution house; they were riding high, with one major franchise wrapping up and another colossal cash cow on the horizon. But in the years since The Hunger Games series reached its conclusion, Lionsgate hasn’t had a real hit. And in their search for the next big payday, they’ve gone the safest route by just giving the people more of what they want. Or rather wanted in 2012.
‘Mockingjay’ is the latest example of perhaps the single most frustrating trend in modern Hollywood: The part-ification of franchise finales. It’s no longer enough to make a successful movie, or even a successful series of movies; Hollywood now extends—or dilutes, really—these cash cows even further, by breaking their concluding installments in half. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you absolutely can judge a movie by its title, at least when that title includes the phrase “Part 1.” If it does, get ready for a languid, uneventful film full of set-up and absolutely zero payoff.