“Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” Movie Review
While I wasn’t a huge fan of Mockingjay Part 1, I was still very optimistic about part 2. In my humble opinion, this cinematic incarnation of Suzanne Collins’s acclaimed novel didn’t need to be split into two motion pictures. I read the Hunger Games books. Unlike something as condensed as the final Harry Potter novel, I felt that “Mockingjay” didn’t have enough content to be split into two movies. I’d always thought, what’s the point? But while Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 definitely suffers from the consequences of a needless split, it still maintains a strong, emotional center.
Director Francis Lawrence returns for the final chapter of the popular franchise. The film picks up right where Mockingjay Part 1 left off. Katniss Everdeen prepares to wage war against the sinister President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the Capitol. She teams up with close allies such as Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Clafin), and the recovering Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) to head towards the Capitol. Though as Katniss and the rebels draw closer to District One, Snow and the peacekeepers prove they aren’t going down without a brutal fight. So now our heroes are forced to be innovative, and must avoid the violent traps left by the government.
This film is mentally exhausting, and it’s less of an emotional roller-coaster and more like trying to pull a train across the tracks. The dark, disturbing, and often depressing tone is understandable, but there isn’t much of a happy payoff. On one hand, it seems to fit within the narrative. It’s a story about war- about death, demolition, oppression, and the aftermath of a bloody revolution. But at the same time there doesn’t seem to be a glimmer of hope for a happy resolution. The entire film is enveloped in darkness but to the point where it’s excessive.
Each actor turns in great performances, especially Josh Hutcherson, who I felt who has gotten better throughout the franchise. Jennifer Lawrence is once again brilliant at the title character, and at this point she has made this character her own. Her portrayal of Katniss in this film is very subtle, yet at the same time conveys so much sadness, anger, and hesitation. The entire case has great chemistry and works well together. Each actor properly conveys the turmoil and the realities of their situations. The actions scenes are intense and exhilarating, although there are some instances where it feels like you’re watching a video game (specifically a scene in an underground tunnel).
The main issue I have with the film is the pacing, and it’s mainly due to the fact that the studio has taken half of the book’s content and stretched it out as much as possible. The characters’ journey to President Snow could’ve been told in just a few scenes. It gets to the point where certain conversations and moments for character development were repeated throughout the film. Thus during the quieter moments towards the end, I began to feel bored.
While beautifully crafted and keeping the story faithful to the books, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is a film that feels very heavy. Splitting the source material into two parts was an unnecessary move. The majority of the heavy emotion that was lacking in Part 1 has been stuffed tightly into Part 2. It definitely is a good conclusion to this franchise, but isn’t something I would watch a second time.
Cosmic Grade: 3/5 Stars