Teenage futuristic dystopian franchises have been the flavour of the week for the last few years. Book adaptations such as the Divergent series and the Maze Runner series have played a large part in box office numbers. Arguably the biggest and most popular of these adaptations is The Hunger Games franchise. Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Evergreen character has offered inspiration to girls (and boys) the world over with her strong, independent revolutionary character.
The Hunger Games follows Katniss as she leads a revolution against the capitol and the dictatorship that has pushed those less fortunate into poverty and pitted their children against each other in the cyclic Hunger Games tournaments. When Katniss is one of the individuals picked for the games she takes matters into her own hands and decides to turn the games upside down and inside out by refusing to kill to win. This turns her into a celebrity, yet Katniss realises she needs to change how she, her family and all of those around her are treated. To do this she must lead a revolution.
The Hunger Games film franchise has now reached its climax with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 being released in 2015. Despite being the lowest grossing of the franchise at the opening box office raising only $102.7 million, there has still been a buzz around the finale which has been pegged as the darkest and most violent of the franchise.
In this article we look at some of the mistakes within the final Hunger Games films, and ask if they may have something to do with the reduced box office numbers. Be warned, there are spoilers included in this list.
8. Magically Changing Arrows
Keeping in the theme of arrows and mistakes, when President Coin is shot by Katniss, the arrow that protrudes from her chest is obviously larger in diameter than the one Katniss fired from her bow. This can clearly be seen in the overhead shot of Coin lying on the floor, where the arrow can be seen to be larger than the one Katniss fired. Unless arrows can increase in mass during flight, this would appear to be a continuity goof. Unfortunately, it is a goof that is easily spotted by the audience and distracts from a pivotal scene within the film.
7. Fire-Resistant Skin
In one scene we see Katniss approach President Snow’s mansion. As she approaches the gate Katniss sees her sister Prim attending the wounded civilians after the massacre. Katniss runs towards her but there is an explosion and Katniss gets catapulted backwards. As she lands on her back we can see the front of her coat has burst into flames. Despite her coat having burst into flames, there is not a mark on Katniss’ face, nor is there any redness to her face. After being so close to an explosion of that magnitude, flash burns would have been visible, especially as her coat caught fire from the radiant heat of the blast.
6. Contact Lenses Goof
Academy Award winner Julianne Moore returns in this finale as President Alma Coin. For this role, Moore was required to wear colour contact lenses to change the natural colour of her eyes. Whilst this is nothing unusual for characters in films, what is unusual is the fact that they are so obvious during one particular scene. In the scene where Coin is in conversation with Plutarch Heavensbee, they are watching a screen after Katniss has arrived in the Capitol. In this scene the contact lenses are clearly visible. Though this is only a small mistake within the film, it is one that is distracting and could have been edited out.
5. Flunking Archery
Since the first book, Katniss has been a keen archer, having had to hunt for her family’s food for years. Indeed, Katniss’ keen sense of survival is one of the main reasons she becomes the revolutionist that she does. However, in Mockingjay Part 2, throughout the film Katniss manages to load her arrow incorrectly. Rather than having the cockfeather facing up it is loaded facing down which will reduce the accuracy of the shot. A rookie error that somebody of Katniss experience should not fall victim to. This opens up a question regarding the continuity and development of the character within the film, and the research of the part.
4. Self-Styling Hair
Katniss’ outfits have been nothing short of spectacular in many of her scenes in the Capitol as the hero of The Hunger Games. Remember the dress of fire? Lenny Kravitz was a style genius. However, in Mockingjay Part 2, there is a certain aspect of Katniss’ appearance that causes concern. Her hair appears to have a life all of its own. In the scene where she is talking to Boggs in the square, her hair is on top of her hood in one shot and then inside of her hood in the next scene. It is as if her hair is doing the Hokey Pokey.
3. Wardrobe Malfunction
As has been stated, the wardrobe and costumes within The Hunger Games have always been imaginative and impressive. Attention to detail is what makes a film great rather than good, and this goes for Mockingjay Part 2 as much as any other film. With this in mind, in the scene where Katniss and Haymitch are in conversation, in the close up shots it is evident that Katniss’s costume has a large brass slider on the zip. In the wider shots this slider is missing. You can’t let the attention to detail slip just because it is the last film, it’s not like the last day at school where you watch films instead of do your work.
2. Head Positioning
It is not just attention to the wardrobe that is important. In order to maintain continuity between shots and throughout the film, it is always important to pay attention to the positioning of the actors within each shot. This is evident in a scene at Finnick’s wedding where Katniss can be seen talking to Johanna. Within this scene something is untoward between the shots. The positioning of Johanna’s head changes between the shots. In one shot her head is in one position, yet in the next shot the position of her head changes and not in a way that is natural.
1. Disappearing Makeup
Most of the goofs that we have mentioned in this article revolve around continuity editing, and number 1 is no exception. Prior to this we have seen issues with costume, with hair and with positioning. At number one we have makeup drama. This can be seen in the same scene where Katniss has a magically-expanding arrow. The scene where Katniss shoots Coin is a pivotal plot point within the story, which may explain why in one shot Katniss is wearing dark heavy make-up, yet when Haymitch takes her out of the Capitol her face is clean. Unless she has some cleansing wipes in her arrow pouch, this makes no sense.
Despite there being a number of continuity issues within the film, these are generally small compared with those in other films. Whilst these goofs are evident, it is unlikely that they bear any relation to reduced viewing numbers. Is it more to do with the fact that audiences are in need of a change of pace? Maybe the market has been over-saturated with teenage dystopia over recent years. All we can say is, may the odds be forever in your favour, Mockingjay.