The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Natalie Dormer
What began as an exciting and gripping film series back in 2012, has slowly lost its “fire” as the three part book series / four part film spectacles comes to an anticlimactic close. “Glad it’s over,” was the general response, as the series that helped launch Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence into a superstar. Like with most fan fueled films, The Hunger Games started out more humbly and over the course of four years became inundated with more special effects than heartfelt moments. “A celebration of suffering,” one character describes the events, as Panem advances towards The Capitol to kill Snow.
Katniss (Lawrence) cannot just wait around and be symbol to the people who are fighting and losing their lives to finally end the reign of The Capitol. Against the wishes of rebel Panem President Coin (Moore), Katniss joins Gale (Hemsworth) near the front line, as a special unit advances towards President Snow (Sutherland) amid deadly booby-traps. The unit also includes Peeta (Hutcherson) who still cannot distinguish between reality and the lies The Capitol subjected him to. Gale doesn’t imagine all three involved in the love triangle will survive, but says it’s Katniss who must make the long awaited decision between her two men if they do. Warned that certain allies cannot be trusted, Katniss advances towards the conclusion of her journey that began with her volunteering to spare her sister.
The suspense keeps the story moving, even when the creativity does not.
Bleak and dire, the final installment of a series that should have ended a year ago, feels like the wind was knocked out of its sails when nothing happened in Part 1. Using all of the hidden traps along the path to The Capital, everything feels like one last Hunger Game as filmmakers conjure up elaborate destruction that slowly take away members of the elite unit. More often than not, Part 2 feels like a horror movie, complete with flesh eating zombie like creatures chasing after Katniss and crew deep in the tunnels under the city. The suspense keeps the story moving, even when the creativity does not. We want this series to end, despite what tragic conclusion might await, we are as tired as Lawrence looks.
Despite not having read the books, much of the outcome seemed predictable, but worse than that, storylines that were built up to be monumental were all anticlimactic. From Snow, Coin, Prim, and the love triangle, arguably the things most important to Katniss are given much less energy and screen time than the fight sequences. So much anger and hatred has built up over the series and it seems the story just flat lines and skids towards the finish line. So much time was wasted last year in Part 1, that could have been used to flesh out some of these conclusions that receive only brief moments on screen. The emotion is zapped from the story, and even when major characters die the audience appeared un-phased.
Worn out its welcome.