Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

By Christian DiMartino

I never read Suzanne Collin’s wildly popular series The Hunger Games, but I will say that the movies are my cup of tea. Once Harry Potter came to an end, I knew that I needed another film series to invest my life in. Then this series fell into my hands. I like its dark, somewhat disturbing premise, and I like that just when things seem promising, they aren’t.

Plenty of apocalyptic films have come our way since the start of this series, and most of them (cough cough Divergent, The Maze Runner, The Giver) just feel like knockoffs. But alas, all good things must come to an end.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2  brings the series to a thunderous end. The result is a fine conclusion to a fine series. Not the best installment, but it is a solid one.

The film pretty much follows directly after the cliffhanger of cliffhangers in Part 1, in which a brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) strangled the hell out of his love, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence). Seeing what that malevolent bastard President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has done to her man, Katniss comes to one conclusion: Snow must fall (thank you, I just thought of it). Or, in other words, DEATH TO SNOW! Or, SNOW MUST MELT (I think the point has been proven).

So, Katniss, joined by… some of her gang, Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and some other people whose names are escaping me, set off on a mission to the President’s mansion to take him down once and for all. However, as expected, it is not smooth sailing, leading to some dazzling set pieces, and even, at one point, a scary one.

The first 40 minutes is fine, but yet, when what you want from a film like this is carnage, it feels a bit long. However, when the carnage comes into play, it is well worth the wait. Like with the other installments, it is purely thrilling. It is also a great production, featuring marvelous set pieces, and so on.

I like Jennifer Lawrence, but I felt like with the first two films, while she was good, she wasn’t the ultimate choice for the role. However, with these last two films, she’s really pulled through. Hutcherson and Hemsworth are fine in their roles, and thank God the love triangle here isn’t Twilight.

As for the supporting players, you wish they had more to do. We see Julianne Moore, the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffery Wright, Jena Malone, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, and Woody Harrelson (sorry if I missed one)… and then we barely see them again. I get it, it’s the source material. It is just a shame is all.

As for the conclusion, it is a good ending. Not particularly the ending I would have chosen, but yet, considering the fact that this is a series that has stuck mostly to its dreary spirit, it seems only fitting that the film would end happily, while also not completely ending happily.

I liked this film, despite its flaws. It isn’t the best entry in the series, but it works well on its own terms. I am glad I went on this journey, and if a spin-off series is made, you can expect to probably see me there.

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