The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 review

Director:
Francis Lawrence
Cast:
Jennifer Lawrence
Josh Hutcherson
Liam Hemsworth
Woody Harrelson
Donald Sutherland
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Julianne Moore
Elizabeth Banks
Mahershala Ali
Jeffrey Wright
Rated: PG-13

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” wastes no time getting started. There’s no flashback or ‘last time.’ The film opens up with Katniss Everdeen’s throat still injured after being attacked by a brainwashed Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson). Despite the injury giving her a raspy voice, though, it doesn’t hold her back from still being involved in the rebellion.

After some preliminary work, Everdeen joins a unit that includes Gale (Hemsworth) as well as Boggs (Ali) and is set to storm the Capitol and put an end to President Snow (Sutherland). The invasion process is met with a heavy challenge, though, when the Capitol inserts traps from the Hunger Games.

Getting right into the thick of things at the start was a welcome decision and reminiscent of the final “HarryPotter” film. Being a film that split up it’s final installment, there’s no doubt that things have to get moving early.

The quick start builds up a lot of steam for the picture, the audience plainly sees that Peeta has been corrupted and Kantiss is obviously shaken and wants blood for revenge. It’s a solid set up for the invasion of the Capitol.

Then the second act happens. It’s introduced that the Capitol leaders decide to set a lot of traps that had been previously seen in the Hunger Games. While this does set up for some exciting moments with Katniss and the unit she’s with, there’s also a feeling of this has been done before.

Much of the film’s middle just focuses on Katniss and her unit trying to avoid these traps and pitfalls instead of showing the full invasion and combat between the two factions. I understand the need to stay faithful to the books, but film is still a visual medium and I think this is a case where some liberties could be taken.

There’s one scene where collateral damage and the effects of the war are shown, but this is only one scene. For this to be the final hours of the war, the film could’ve shown more of the invasion.

Fortunately, the film does have a strong third and final act. For example, there is a wonderful scene where the Victors of the Hunger Games meet to discuss what the next steps are with President Coin (Moore) that features fantastic acting and drama. As for the very end of the picture, the movie does include an extra epilogue that feels a bit tacked on, but it at least wraps things up nicely.

As for the acting, there’s not much more to say than what I’ve already said in my other reviews on the series. Lawrence and Hutcherson are both solid again as the young protagonists who are dealing with heavy mental issues. Harrelson is also great in his scenes, stealing a few in fact and Sutherland continues to be one of the more memorable villains in recent years.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who unfortunately passed away, was good once again in this finale and the movie includes a good send off for the actor.

“Mockingjay – Part 2” hit somewhat of a rocky road in the middle but the beginning and end make for an overall good picture and finale. Plus, like the rest of the films, it featured a high caliber in terms of acting. 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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