The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 review
In the storm of movies that are trying to be the next Harry Potter series like with Divergent and Maze Runner, trying to aim for the teen and young adult market, The Hunger Games have been really successful. Unlike the Harry Potter series that had a male protagonist and an upbeat attitude, The Hunger Games has a strong feminist hero that’s in a real down beat universe. Some might see the darker environment as a turn off, but I always saw it as unique. And even with the somber tone, it still felt like a tense fun action story that satisfies most mainstream audiences.
Last year, we received the first part of the Mockingjay finale that I liked, but criticized for being a little slow and truly only half of a movie. This trend (along with many upcoming movies) of splitting movies is something that rarely justifies it’s existence as it only serves to stretch the series on longer then it needs to be. So given how the first part was very dialogue heavy and light on action, I think a lot of people (who haven’t read the books) are hoping that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will deliver on the action for the finale of the series.
We open immediately at the end of the first movie where Katness Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) who is recovering from Peeta’s (played by Josh Hutcherson) attempted murder on her. He was brainwashed by the capital and Katness is his trigger. The doctors have done what they can, but all they can do is wait for Peeta to heel. Their attack on the capital in the last movie weakened them and is finally ready to make the final assault. Katness wants to join the front lines in District 2, but leader of the rebellion President Alma Coin (played by Julianne Moore) and her assistant Plutarch (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) tell her to rest.
She defies their orders by sneaking onto a cargo ship that takes her to the District where she meets up with her fellow rebels. Once she teams up with Gale (played by Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (played by Sam Claflin), Cressida (played by Natalie Dormer) and a few commanders, they make their way to the rim of the capitol. Not only is Peeta also coming along, but the Capitol has rigged most of the city with traps as a last effort to drive off the forces. It’s up to Katness to make it through the traps to complete her mission to kill President Snow (played by Donald Sutherland).
Like the previous movie, Mockingjay part 2 is just as somber and bleak, though this is feels like the darkest of the bunch. Perhaps it relies too much on being somber, as I really wanted Katness to have a couple of moments to breathe. It does keep her goal in mind to end everything, though you kind of want something that will keep her going. I wish there had been some lighter moments somewhere like previous memories as kids or something.
As is, this definitely feels like a proper way to end the Hunger Games, giving us an ending that makes sense, even if it’s not as surprising as it is in the book. While it continues to stay character focused, there are some well staged action scenes. Fans hoping for more of it will probably be disappointed, but satisfied nonetheless.
Jennifer Lawrence was Katness Everdeen and it will be sad knowing she probably won’t play her again. Everyone else does well, as well as Phillip Seymour Hoffman in his final role.
I’ll give this three and a half burning arrows out of five. While it is the weakest of the films, it’s still a good movie to end the legacy. Now that the games are over, it’s time for the next young adult series to take the world by storm. Will it be Harry Potter-like? Or Hunger Games-like? Or something different? Cinema is a tricky game.