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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – Review


Release Date: 20 November 2015 [USA]
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Peter Craig - Danny Strong [Screenplay] - Suzanne Collins [Novel]
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence - Josh Hutcherson - Liam Hemsworth - Woody Harrelson - Donald Sutherland - Philip Seymour Hoffman - Julianne Moore - Elizabeth Banks



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Posted November 27, 2015 by

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review:

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2, the final installment in the young adult book series turned international box office juggernaut is upon us. The Hunger Games (films) have been with us since 2012, and during that time it has avoided many of the repetitive mechanisms which typically fuel today’s blockbusters. This fourth installment brings to a close the often uneven, but otherwise entertaining, film series about a dystopian world where entertainment, politics, and war blend (mostly) seamlessly into a PG13 action- adventure.

Hunger Games first stands out as a series because its hero is a female, a heroine, who can take care of herself. Although Katniss is rescued time and time again by her male co-stars (Josh Hutchinson, Liam Hemsworth, and others), her role is not necessarily about being the brawny action star — but the leader — the one who makes the tough calls and sacrifices the most. However, to be fair, JLaw (Jennifer Lawrence) is pretty skilled as a warrior, particularly by this fourth installment, and she has some giant cojones (testicles in Spanish) for continually entering massive battles against automatic weapons, tar-valances, mutated monsters, and more, armed only with a bow and some arrows. Katniss laughs at massive tactical disadvantages and excels in the name of her district’s tradition and freedom — or something. Katniss isn’t quite sure what she’s fighting for anymore and that separates our heroine from many of the usual blockbuster lead characters — she’s flawed and in constant doubt.

Francis Lawrence returns to direct the film series for the third time and continues his mix of shaky cam and muddy-without-being-distracting style. Unlike other modern blockbusters, Lawrence and the team behind Hunger Games gambles with being a little smarter, a little more subtle (sometimes), and doesn’t feel the need to follow the same formulaic pace as the rest. With that said, the pacing in Mockingjay Part 2 is a little strange sometimes, particularly in the first half. I think one reason for that is having stretched out the story to fit two films instead of making it a single densely-packed film. I’m also not sure if I feel the pacing is off because blockbuster conditioning has made me accustomed to impromptu 20 minute action spectacles. Hunger Games, several times early on, hints at the start of such a spectacle, but then pulls back. These moments early on keep the viewer off-balance, and starts a craving process that is satiated in the second and third act of the film where action spectacles dominate.

At its core Mockingjay Part 2 is a war film. While it never strays from its PG13 rating, it certainly does push the limits of its rating to provide plenty of gritty action while not shying away from death even a little. Katniss, and to some degree Peeta (Hutchinson) deal with issues that are just a touch heavier than what goes on in the usual modern blockbuster. Like any good science fiction story, Hunger Games tries to leave viewers with a lot to think about other than another sequel. There is a deep intent to tell a complex story, even if most of the time the complexity doesn’t entirely make sense or some of the actors conveying the story are wildly unconvincing or uninteresting (I’m looking at you, Liam).

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is a long ending for things that were set up in previous movies, but it’s satisfying none-the-less. Plenty of thrilling action sequences feed the testosterone-minded viewer, and, for those more interested in story, the characters get a chance to complete arcs that began back in 2012 with THE HUNGER GAMES. Not a lot of light moments, humor, or childlike wonder, but that’s not what this series is about. Mockingjay Part 2 is the conclusion of Katniss Everdeen’s story of fighting oppressive authority, seizing destiny, and finding peace in a world where she’s only ever known turmoil.


Read Similar Articles?…

[Review] – ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’
[Review] – ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
[Review] – ‘Bridge Of Spies’ 

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Ruben R. Diaz
Freelance Contributor

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