The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review


As always I can promise you there are ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS in this review!

In the Mix
Director - Francis Lawrence, Writer - Peter Craig, Danny Strong, (based on novel) Suzanne Collins Cast - Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutchinson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore

The Skinny in 10 words
"Katniss Everdeen attempts to crossbow this franchise to a close."

The Quote
Whistle noise and holds hand in three finger salute.... (Like clockwork at least two times a movie ;))

The Beef
I'm a big fan of the film franchise, and have enjoyed each new instalment a lot. Sadly, the culmination of this huge Global franchise didn't go out with the big bang it deserved. The movie felt overall slow and a little boring in parts.

With the ever growing trend to capitalise on box office sales via dividing up movies beyond their original source material, this can either make or break a finale. Where as the two part format can enable a film to have an action packed high energy second half, as is this case with The Deathly Hallows Part 2, on this occasion we are left feeling that the story has been spread too thin to fill two films worth of screen time.

The story in short
Fresh from her near strangulation from the brain washed Peeta, Katniss Everdeen and the remaining districts must rise up to overthrow the Capitol and President Snow. She is also unsure of who to trust and whether the political motives of her own factor are really so different to the enemies she has been fighting.

The action sequences are big and visually stunning in all their CGI glory as the district 13 squad pick their way through an elaborately booby trapped Capitol or escape from mutts. We are shown a far darker side to The Hunger Games than we have seen before, a dark dystopian urban landscape with the death toll rising at every turn with morally questionable actions at every level.

While Jennifer Lawrence has shone in her role as the emotionally damaged heroine, the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale doesn't get any further along in this outing than a kiss everytime a tense situation needs resolving. Josh Hutchinson's character, Peeta, gets the best moments throughout his screen presence as he fights inner demons in deciphering reality from fantasy.

The script isn't going to win any awards though it is does an admirable enough job, it does however feel almost cage like for the actors to be able to show any signs of their previous performances. The two exceptions being the arch nemesis, the ever evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the last screen performance from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman's Plutarch Heavensbee.

Popcorn or Pie
The novels are arguably the best YA fiction since Harry Potter and the movies have done an excellent on screen transition to share this story with a global audience. I'm not sure I can still stomach the author Suzanne Collins' claim that she had never heard of the Japanese movie Battle Royale - really?!
This franchise launched the career of Jennifer Lawrence as a household name as she now firmly holds the crown as the darling of Hollywood; loved by all for her endless falls on red carpets and seeming normality in a crazy industry. You have to watch this film to complete the series but I would say you aren't missing anything by waiting for it to be seen at home.

Say What?: 
Lionsgate CEO, Jon Feltheimer, stated in February 2015 that there could be a 5th film from the franchise, either a prequel or another sequel. Maybe not though after opening weekend box office sales were at their lowest ever from any of the previous instalments....

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