Possible spoilers ahead!
Everyone’s favorite girl on fire, (Katniss Everdeen), is supposed to be around 17 years old as the Hunger Games saga reaches its finale, but in the hands of director Francis Lawrence (who took the reins from Gary Ross after the first film), the Hunger Games series has transformed from traditional young-adult entertainment, to what is for all intents and purposes, a war drama.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” picks up right after the end of Part 1, where we find Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) trying to recuperate from the near-fatal attack by her one-time ally, and love, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).
Even though her physical wounds are still healing, Katniss finds that the many mental and emotional scars inflicted upon her, and those close to her, by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) have reached a boiling point. With a little help from Gale, Katniss sneaks out of District 13 headed for the frontline of The Rebellion’s push into The Capitol, hoping to assassinate Snow once and for all.
However, when Katniss arrives in The Capitol, she finds that Snow has rigged the entire city with “pods,” arena-style traps designed by the game makers, with the intent of making the rebels pay for their impending victory in blood. With all of Panem on the line, Katniss and her closest allies head into the pod-ridden streets, intent on completing their mission – even if none of them make it out alive.
The third and Hunger Games movie by director Francis Lawrence, Mockingjay – Part 2 is everything its predecessor wasn’t: fast-paced, action packed, thrilling, and dramatic. This is a worthy end to the Hunger Games saga.
With the narrative device of The Hunger Games fully behind us, Lawrence, and his team were free to create a full-fledged dystopian war film – and they succeed in that effort. Part 1 was about posturing and setup. It was the appetizer before the main course.
Part 2 is where the audience finally gets to explore the true experience of war and rebellion – not just on the battlefield, as we also get to see how both sides use propaganda, and how they treat their armies as disposable toys. We even got to experience the war from the civilians perspective.
And what’s left to say about the cast at this point? The lead ensemble – Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks – pull off the intimacy of longtime friends/enemies effortlessly. Although the film could have used a little mofe of Woody Harrelson .
Jennifer Lawrence, I felt. delivered her best performance as Katniss. One thing I appreciate about Lawrence is that she always took this career-making role seriously. And as usual, she brougjt gave the character an accessible mix of bravery and vulnerability—espeially as Katniss prepares for the ultimate showdown with Sutherland’s diabolical President Snow.
But if you follow this blog then you know I love me some J.Law, so I’m a little biased when it comes to her.
Other, more recent cast additions like Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Julianne Moore, Jeffrey Wright and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman all bolster the series’ supporting roles with great performances. But it is sad knowing this is the last time we’ll see the great Seymour Hoffman on the big screen.
My only complaint about the movie would be the climactic showdown at The Capitol. Not that’s bad, but I thought it all happened somewhat quick. Considering everything leading up to it, the final battle felt abrupt, and arguably a bit anti-climatic. Even the moment that sets Katniss off (a death she witnesses), was so quick, that many people probably missed it.
Although I’m not completely surprised, since the filmmakers didn’t do much to establish their relationship in the previous movies. It’s a shame really, because that was one of my favorite relationships in the novels.
I read the novels in early 2012, but it been so long that don’t how much changed from the page to the screen. Even if a lot of things changed, I don’t care, because in the end, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” is an exciting, thrilling and powerful ending to the Hunger Games saga.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” final score: 8.5