The End is Finally In Our Favor: A Review of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - November 19, 2015
The End is Finally In Our Favor: A Review of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2’

While I’ll be the first to admit that there is something unsatisfying about living in a world where a cinematic trilogy gets broken up into four parts, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t any less entertaining.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.2 manages to put a bow on this story and wrap up this young adult action franchise in a smart and effective way but it also highlights the unnecessary nature of breaking this book into two different movies.

The war to free Panem is raging on, as the Capitol escalates the action and begins to flat out destroy all the other colonies.  Katinss (Jennifer Lawrence) now the reluctant face of the revolution as the Mockingjay, has to face all of her fears and lead a crack squad into the capitol in order to assassinate President Snow while the opposition against her grows from forces both outside and closer to home then she’d ever like to admit.

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It all rolls together nicely to finish up, but the obvious cash grab of breaking up the final book made it all feel like we were waiting an entire year for the privilege to pay for an ending we already kind of knew, even if we hadn’t have read the books.

Director Francis Lawrence who took over the franchise from Gary Ross after the first installment in 2012 has infused the series with a level of consistency that often gets over looked in larger scale filmmaking.  The action and the narrative move at a very believable pace and we never feel like we are being force fed any plot points or story issues.  Sadly he can’t make us feel like we aren’t watching the last half of something, and while I can appreciate the monetary advantages to breaking the final book into two movies I can’t help but shake the feeling that Lawrence’s efforts would have been better spent on making one longer epic movie to give audiences more of an emotional blow off.  Don’t get me wrong, it all plays fine, but it feels like we got robbed of an epic piece of cinematic storytelling as this entire story plays on a much grander scale then either of the first two installments of this franchise, and the general dystopia of this universe can get a little lost at times.  Thankfully despite the disjointed wait and uneven moments that have been thrust upon us, it still works thanks to the powers of this franchises leading lady.

For the first time here it actually feels like Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss has finally broken in the face of all the horrible things that have been put in front of her as she has to navigate herself from inspirational leader to actual political threat in a landscape where all she has ever wanted to do is protect her loved ones.  She isn’t entirely successful in that aspect and we see it slowly crack her heroic facade open into one that just wants to go home to a world that is cleansed of the bullshit that she has to navigate on a daily basis.  The likes of Woody Harrelson, the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Willow Shields and Liam Hemsworth are all fine in their various supporting parts, the bulk of the movie is the tension between Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and while it resolves itself fine, we have to navigate more than one awkwardly clunky moment as they don’t always work very well together.

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At the end of the day, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2 is a more than adequate resolution to this large sweeping story, but you can’t help that they pulled back just a little and robbed us of something that would have felt a little more in scale to the size of the story.

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David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.