The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)
dir. Francis Lawrence
written by: Peter Craig, Danny Strong, Suzanne Collins
starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Mahershala Ali, Sam Claflin, Natalie Dormer, Elden Henson
2.75 out of 4 stars
Another quadrilogy based on a teen phenomena trilogy has landed and stolen the box office. With the final film in The Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay Part 2 ends the torture and overexposure of Katniss Everdeen with Jennifer Lawrence taking on the Capital one last time. Leaving off where Part 1 concluded, Katniss and her team of rebels and tributes are set to infiltrate the boobytrap laden metropolis to take down President Snow. This is the battle to halt the overlords who have done their best to make the Districts lives hell.
Pleasingly, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 is the nonstop action movie for which Part 1 prepared. The story is followed quite closely, including everyone’s favorite explosions and waylays, at the unofficial 76th Hunger Games. Devoid of the joys brought by many of the non-victor adult cast, such as the briefly featured Julianne Moore, the ever so perfect Elizabeth Banks, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, we return to the young cast of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, along with their Propos and rebel military, to infiltrate the Capitol and take out Snow. Strong visual effects and a continuously destroyed metropolitan landscape surround the heroes on their quest for murder.
Lawrence continues to play Katniss well. There was really no doubt of her losing one of her primary characters. Hutcherson is more disappointing than previous iterations. In recovery mode, Hutcherson is all shakes and crying, not that Peeta was in better shape in the books, and I expected there to be a little more delicacy. Liam Hemsworth was as underwhelming as always. Attempting to distract the crowd with being sexy, he goes through his lines and does his best to not make everything just wish Thor was on screen.
Their supporting cast is high energy. The return of Sam Claflin as Finnick shows a notably amped up victor, far more aggressive than in Catching Fire. This is the career tribute Suzanne Collins wrote. Natalie Dormer continues Cressida’s excellence, and her character should certainly be the focus of Hunger Games spin-offs, if those happen. Elden Henson provides more emotional weight than any of his speaking costars. His silent role as the tongueless Pollux demonstrates the burn of vengeance and the pain of loss without a word of dialogue. Donald Sutherland finishes strong. His President Snow demonstrates has tormented the Districts for four movies, and his reign of terror became more monstrous throughout.
Mockingjay, Part 2 involves the most action and the least cohesion of the series. Some of this may have to do with the departed Hoffman’s scenes never completing. It may have to do with some plot points getting jammed together. A good deal of emotional impact breezed by, brushed aside for more sulking than resolutions. Not adding much to the source, the movie wrapped up the torment, placing a fresh little bow on the happy ending. Wash clean the blood of the hundreds of children; this is mass appeal dystopia.