The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

 photo hunger_games_mockingjay__part_two_ver21_zpsashbnnpi.jpg

 photo starrating-2andahalfstars.jpgSplitting author Suzanne Collins’ third and final book into two parts was a decision motivated by greed. The choice may have made stockholders happy, but it certainly didn’t benefit the art of telling an interesting story. Mockingjay Part 1 relied on exposition to set up a civil war that was brewing. The subject continues in Part 2. The ruthless enemy is Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland), President of Panem. The rebel factions from the outer districts take orders from Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), President of District 13. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is still on the side of Coin but she’s clearly conflicted to be an instrument in furthering her motives. Katniss  is no longer a valiant participant in the games. She’s the Mockingjay — an inspiration for a generation of insurgents to launch a strike against the Capitol. It’s all out war. Complicating matters is that Peeta — now rescued from being under the influence of the enemy — has been brainwashed into thinking his beloved friend is the source of society’s ills.

The action had been stretched pretty thin in Mockingjay – Part 1, so expectations were that this is where the excitement would be. Yet there appears to be even less of that this go around. It’s more dialogue as actor squares off against actor. Sutherland and Moore impressively seize the focus. Unfortunately though the plot is a tedious slog in which the sum total of the narrative can be reduced to “Let’s go kill Snow”. There is an exorbitant amount of time spent on just walking to the Capitol. The trek includes Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Finnick (Sam Claflin) among others. On their way, Katniss and her team confront various traps and threats. A lot of people die. Katniss is disgusted by war and apparently herself. She’s glum and depressed, racked with guilt as she struggles with her new role. She never asked to be a symbol for the rebellion. The depression zaps the actress of her usual spark. Her despondency seeps into the overall spirit of the film.

The Hunger Games series ultimately sputters to a weak and sorry conclusion in this fourth and final installment. What a comedown from the exhilarating high point that Catching Fire had achieved. Mockingjay – Part 2 is a dour condemnation of war where very little of consequence happens until the end. The drama fails to make a lasting impression. There are a few exceptions. Katniss and her team encounter mutant zombies whose mouths resemble piranhas. The “Alien” attack sequence is the single most nightmarish moment in the entire picture. The chronicle is once again abetted by a colorful ensemble cast. Tigris (Eugenie Bondurant), is a former Hunger Games’ stylist, briefly seen hiding Katniss’ unit in her shop. The bizarre surgically altered cat woman is like some futuristic descendant of Jocelyn Wildenstein. Regrettably those loopy flourishes are the exception. A mostly gray color palette complements a boring narrative with a sluggish pace. At least it’s finally over I suppose.


14 Responses to “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2”

  1. I actually enjoyed this one a lot. Then again, I’m probably the only one in the world who favors the latter half of the series over the former half. Good review!


  2. I really wanted to like the latter half of the series. Sadly for me, just like the books, the first and the second were the climax of the series. The rest was all post-orgasmic foreplay- which of course is unnecessary.


    • It seems that what started out as a rousing sci-fi actioner has devolved into Katniss’ more abstract battle with her role as the Mockingjay. Although the concept is more psychological in theory, the idea that “war is bad” is depressingly even more conventional.


  3. I was so bored by this. Can’t believe this ended so badly. Really wish they would have made ONE great movie, instead of 2 stretched out boring movies. A couple of exciting scenes, but that’s it! 2 1/2 stars


  4. Yeah… You really DIDN’T like this one much! Lol 😉 Well, I can’t say I disagree, as you know. A pretty disappointing end but so was the book. At least the first two are good, I guess! 🙂


  5. I could see the franchise running out of steam in Part 1 and I don’t think it was ever the same without the actual games themselves. Anyway, I might as well give this a try as it wraps up the story.


  6. GaryGreg828 Says:

    Man, 2 and a half stars? I haven’t seen this yet, but it’s reviews like this that keep me from going out to see this at the theater. I actually skipped reading your review, b/c I’d rather wait until I see it. But honestly, I just watched Mocking Jay part 1 and didn’t think it was all that good. It seems each installment loses intrigue, when I thought each part should build intrigue. It seems they will never be able to match the intensity of part one when everyone rose from the underground elevator onto the platforms and the countdown began; that was INTENSE.


  7. I agree that the action was stretched thin in Mockingjay – Part 1, but I found Part 2 to be more engaging from that perspective. Yeah, the plot is a tedious slog and it’s basically walking to the Capitol, however I think the idea of traps waiting around every turn creates a nice sense of tension, even if the people who die from them are predictable. You’re right that it’s a sorry conclusion to the series. Not much seems to happen at the end and yet the movie pulls a Return of the King with several moments it could have ended on. I never really loved any of these movies. With the exception of the first movie (which I thought was awful), I mostly just thought they were good for what they were, adaptations of so-so YA novels.


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