The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore
Directed by Francis Lawrence, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins
IMDB Rating: 7.4 (As of 20th November, 1 day after release)
Closure! Pure, sweet closure! One of a generation’s greatest ever franchises finally gets its curtain call. Staying true to its roots, Katniss gets the send-off part of me feared she wouldn’t get.
Building upon the war of words from Mockingjay – Part 1, Mockingjay – Part 2 follows Katniss (Lawrence) as she finally leads the revolution into the Capitol. President Snow, his home now breached, sets up traps around the Capitol, turning the ruined city into his own version of the 76th Hunger Games.
I should again state that I have not read the last book prior to watching this film. It may also be worth knowing that we did a Hunger Games marathon (minus the first film, because who has the time) before heading out to see the final movie, which was pretty awesome!
The story itself, much like part 1, does feel a touched dragged out. But this is to be expected when you turn a book into 4 and 1/2 hours of viewing. However, this film had much more to keep your interest than its previous. Moving away from the heavy politics of Part 1, this film goes back to what made these books and films a huge success. Firstly, Katniss is back fighting the Capitol again, shooting arrows like it’s going out of fashion (which might actually happen now). Secondly, she again doesn’t really know what she’s doing, and when she does it’s usually not what any normal person would do. That’s what separates this character from competitors such as Tris from Divergent, she isn’t always good. Also, adding a volatile Peeta into the mix brings back that love-triangle from the earlier movies. I should humbly state that I did get it wrong in the end, I thought she would swing the other way! I guess that’s good job on Collin’s part.
The acting lives up to the standards of the previous movies, all the actors now seemingly playing their parts off of memory. Jennifer Lawrence delivers a good performance as Katniss Everdeen, again showing her wide array of talents on the silver screen. I would usually at this point out a particular scene or style she did best, but the performance overall was generally well-rounded. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta deliver an okay performance, excelling in moments of rage but was less believable during moments of weakness. Woody Harrelson played the drunk mentor Haymitch, and was again good to watch, albeit playing a loveable character that could never put a foot wrong. Past that, everyone was either unremarkable or the same as always.
The directing by Francis Lawrence also didn’t really deliver anything new, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He did a good job of recreating the emotion from previous films, and also created quite a few good jumpscares, which pleasantly surprised me!
If you read my trailer review a few weeks ago, you may have seen me say some pretty damning things about the previous film, and I went into this fearing an underwhelming finish. However, having now seen it I feel like this is a fitting end to the franchise! It promotes the values and drama that made these films the spectacles they were in the first place, and was overall an exciting watch!
So, that’s it. This film ends one of the great franchises of the 21st century so far. These films have inspired thousands, possibly millions of people all over the world to dream of something bigger, better for themselves.
This includes me.
If it wasn’t for me seeing a trailer for Catching Fire on the TV and thinking ‘that looks cool’ then it is likely I never would have borrowed my friends Hunger Games DVD. From that moment on I have been fascinated by the power of film. Then I brought the books and since then I have been completely enthralled by the art of storytelling itself. To think I never really watched films, and never even read a full book until the Hunger Games! To some these may have been nothing more than annoying teen films, but to me they have been sorta life-changing! So, for that, and on behalf of others everywhere, I would like to say thankyou.
Thankyou Suzanne Collins, Jennifer Lawrence, Francis Lawrence and the countless others involved in bringing this story to life, both in book and film.
We’ll miss you, but I guess it’s on to the next one!
P.S. Catching Fire was the best one.