Mahershala Ali Marks the latest Addition to The Hunger Games Cast

In a few hours the 3rd installment of “The Hunger Games” series releases in theaters. Like “The Hunger Games” which released in 2012 and the sequel “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” it will likely earn hundreds of millions of dollars.

Based on a novel by Suzanne Collins, the themes of the ‘Hunger Games’ deal with social division and inequality with several districts in a nation called Paneam controlled by The Capitol, which exercises political control over the rest of the nation. In this 3rd installment “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1’ continues with the same prevalent theme.

Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali

Returning to this installment is tech-savvy Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman (the film is dedicated to him) as Plutarch Heavensbee, the former Hunger Games commissioner. New additions include Evan Ross and Mahershala Ali, best known for his film and television roles in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Place Beyond the Pines” and the series “House of Cards.”


Jeffrey Wright

The film opens without a recap but picks up where 2 left off. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), who destroyed the Hunger Games in the last installment has been rescued by revolutionary soldiers and has found refuge with the crew in District 13. A drab underground fortress run by a stern gray-haired President Coin (Julianne Moore), it’s there she discovers that her boyfriend Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) didn’t make it to the district. Peeta, to her horror, is being held, manipulated and brainwashed in The Capitol by President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Determined to rescue him, she strikes a deal with President Coin to join the revolution and help the District overtake the capital city and rid the nation of its fascistic President Snow.


Jennifer Lawrence

It’s a premise that sets the stage for plenty of action with big battle scenes and sequences as we envision the entire districts banding together to obliterate a common enemy, but instead, what we are left with are emotional shots of destroyed districts as Snow and Coin stage a public-relations campaign with propaganda videos to rally the other districts.

The bows and arrows Katniss is saddled with are barely put to good use. It’s a franchise that thrived on action and adventure, but instead of the action, director Francis Lawrence now offers us a war of words between President Coin and Snow with a passive Katniss emotionally reacting to a string of horrors she witnesses – most especially the torture of Peeta.

It’s not to say “MockJay” isn’t a decent film, but the expectations of a shakedown and showdown and a chance to finally see the sadistic President Snow get a taste of his own medicine isn’t there so this ends up being stretched, unsatisfactory and an unnecessary tease to part 2, which releases next year.

by Samantha Ofole Prince, Executive Editor for Trendy Africa Magazine who contributes from Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Murray Close


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