The Hunger Games is easily my favourite cinematic franchise ever. Today marks the one year anniversary of the release of the series finale, Mockingjay - Part Two. To celebrate, I'm taking a look back at the four film run, all of which were adapted from Suzanne Collins' trilogy, and attempting the impossible - putting them in order of worst to best! Be sure to let me know how you rank the four films and tell me all the reasons you love Katniss Everdeen's rise to the Young Adult elite.
4. The Hunger Games (2012)
Summary: The Hunger Games brilliantly sets the themes, tones and incredible standard of performances to expect from the next big franchise, that follows in the genre-defining footsteps of Harry Potter.
3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One (2014)
Summary: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One's decision to focus on character development so closely to the finale greatly pays off, working with some darker themes and tones - all of which are championed by some of Lawrence's best work yet.
2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part Two (2015)
Summary: The Hunger Games Mockingjay - Part Two is a triumphant finale to an almost-faultless series, delving into the darkest and bleakest corners of the narrative of Katniss' final swan song, performed seamlessly by Jennifer Lawrence, sparking a more than satisfactory ending to the dystopian phenomenon.
For more of my ramblings on this excellent film, check out my FULL REVIEW, which was one of my earliest posts - as I'm very sure you can tell!
1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Very possibly my favourite film ever (and at the very least tied with Mockingjay - Part Two and David Fincher's Gone Girl in an unwavering top three), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a demonstration of how to successfully translate already solid material on to screen, develop on the weaknesses of a predecessor into unequivocal successes, amp up all the intensity and nail-biting and craft a picture that offers heart, soul, care and thrills in equal measures. A number of thought-provoking themes pull into the central frame, all of which are expertly accomplished with Francis Lawrence's help - taking the director reigns with a smoother execution and a broader vision than his predecessor. A three-act structure feeds into the success and even with a solid two hour-plus runtime, the film is constantly engaging, relentless and gripping. *Insert speech praising Jennifer Lawrence*. The only reason Catching Fire edges Mockingjay - Part Two is one particular scene; when Katniss is lifted out of the arena by the crane, as it sets on fire around and below her, every single detail is lushly crafted with such beauty and clarity and, in all honesty, it is my favourite ever scene from a film. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is as sharp as Katniss' arrow.
Summary: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is an absolute masterpiece, with incredible performances (particularly from Jennifer Lawrence as the inspiring Katniss Everdeen), a smooth and lush direction from Francis Lawrence, a gripping and thrilling narrative anchored by a solid three-act structure
And there we have it! My definitive (well, for today anyway) ranking of the four films that form The Hunger Games franchise, my favourite cinematic franchise ever. How do you rank the four films and, if possible, do you love it as much as I do? Let me know!