THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 is the fourth and final installment in The Hunger Games series. So, if you haven’t seen the others, forget about seeing this one (although, I assume you could have figured that out on your own). While I have never been a fan of The Hunger Games book trilogy, and I think the previous movies were lacking, Part 2 was actually quite enjoyable.
The film starts shortly after MOCKINGJAY PART 1 ended, when (SPOILER?) Peeta was rescued and promptly attacked and attempted to strangle Katniss (END SPOILER). The rebels are still going strong as they make their way through the capital with the objective of finally ending the rebellion and assassinating President Snow. Unfortunately, the film takes some time to get going, but once it gets through the boring politics, it turns into a really exciting and captivating action/military flick. However, it certainly suffers from the “Part 2 Syndrome” of having to fit most of the action and little of the actual story into the series’ climax, but I’d argue that it walks that thin line with an incredible amount of grace and is actually my favorite film of the entire series.
My problem with the other films and even the books was that I had a difficult time finding Katniss to be an interesting character. It’s not as though she’s suddenly intriguing in this film, but she definitely complains much less. She still complains, but not as often. What’s strange to me is that Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress and always gives spectacular performances, but the character of Katniss is simply dull and nothing Lawrence could do can really change that. I also felt as though many of the big character deaths (yes, people die in a dystopian war film) were rushed and did not emotionally impact the story as much as they should have. With a run time of over two hours, there’s no reason why they needed to gloss over such important events.
Of course the emotional through-line of the series is the relationship triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale, which obviously comes to its conclusion by the end of the film. To be honest, it was probably the best aspect of Part 2. As you probably know, Peeta just went through an extreme amount of brainwashing at the hands of the capital and now views Katniss as a threat and a liar. Their relationship has never been more exciting! Gale is still… well Gale is boring. I suppose I’m on #TeamPeeta if that’s something we’re still doing. Nonetheless, I’ve always found the dichotomy between Katniss and Peeta to be extremely interesting and one of the only things to continually bring me back to the series. That and the capital mutts. Those guys are awesome.
The bottom line is, if you like any of The Hunger Games films, you’ll easily enjoy Mockingjay – Part 2. After all, I didn’t like the other Hunger Games films and I still enjoyed it. It has great action sequences, solid arcs, and ends in an uplifting way that the book didn’t really capture. But don’t go out of your way to catch up with the series if you’re not already a fan.
3.5 / 5 Stars
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 – Dir. Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson
Run Time: 137 minutes