The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Director: Francis Lawrence.
Written by: Peter Craig & Danny Strong. Based upon the novel Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Julianne Moore.
Running Time: 137 Minutes.
Mockingjay – Part 2 picks up soon after the first instalment of The Hunger Games finale ended. We find that Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) has been conditioned to despise Katniss, which resulted in him attempting to take her life. The problem with the first instalment was that it was a two hour build up to this one event, with not much else happening. Fortunately, the latest, and final, chapter of the franchise does not suffer from the same problems as its predecessor.
Katniss is still working with Plutarch and President Coin (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore) in order to bring an end to President Snow’s reign of terror. The always reluctant heroine begins working with an army in hopes of stopping Snow. Eventually deciding to go rogue with the belief that this is the best option for bringing peace to the thirteen districts of the dystopian world she lives. There’s also the matter of the love triangle Katniss finds herself a part of, unsure of whether she truly loves Gail or Peeta. Just give the girl a break already!
Jennifer Lawrence delivers her best performance of the franchise, with some truly fantastic work. The thing about Lawrence is that she is often uncaring about how she looks in order to convey the necessary emotions for any particular scene. A scene in this film contains the actress shouting and crying so much that some drool is visible dripping from her mouth. There’s not many actresses of her generation that are willing to be seen like that on the big screen.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, tragically, died during the production of this film, so this is his final screen performance. The great actor does some fine work here and the writers have done their best in writing around the character, though it’s obvious that the actor had passed away before filming what would have surely been his character’s pivotal scene in the film.
Mockingjay – Part 2 is most definitely heavier on action that the previous film, also proving to be heavier on plot, too. There is an underground sequence in the middle to late stages of the film that seems like a scene taken from The Descent. This is easily the most tense scene in the franchise as a whole.
Though the film may be an improvement over the predecessor, it does suffer from a few problems of its own. There are a few deaths of major characters (don’t worry I won’t reveal who bites the dust) but these deaths don’t seem to affect the characters half as much as they should. They even seem a little shrugged off by the surviving characters. This could be due to the long running time of the film, that additional scenes dealing with this may not have made the cut. Perhaps a director’s cut of some sort could fix this. One of the other problems with the film is the final scene. Towards the end, the film seems like it’s about to end (it even fades to black) and this would have been the perfect way to end the franchise. Instead we’re shown one final scene which really juxtaposes with the rest of the film, maybe that’s the point? Either way, it doesn’t fit and seems a little superfluous.
Verdict: Action-filled, tense and boasting a fine cast, Mockingjay – Part 2 ends The Hunger Games on a high. Though it takes a few missteps here and there, it’s a worthwhile and enjoyable film that may be the best of the franchise.
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