The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015) – Film Review
Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
by Anel Blazevic
This 137-minute conclusion to what had previously been a mostly compelling, often riveting movie saga drags enormously. Results heavy, it simply doesn’t deliver the things that make the other movies so gripping. You know, love, action, a goddamn story-line. Not that Part 1 of this ‘Mockingjay’ double-header was exactly must-see material. But at least you came away feeling things were nicely set-up for a fulfilling denouement.
The film-makers reap what they sow. Needlessly splitting Suzanne Collins’s final novel into two elongated portions, stripping away the longed-for action sequences and filling screen time with endless amounts of, well, loitering around and waiting for something to happen. I mean, movies should be where things happen, right? The bits where things don’t happen? Leave them to the audience’s imagination.
“Left in confusion”
So Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) epic two-way dilemma between her hatred for the government and mistrust of those meant to be guarding her back plays out in a bizarre sort of obstacle race (trust me!). It’s like The Krypton Factor meets Ross Kemp’s Extreme World. Her equally epic love triangle fizzles out with a sort of limp emotional handshake. And the entirely epic, gritty, frightening, anyone-could-die drama of the original movies washes away in a massively OTT happy ending. It’s more akin to fairytales than subversive kids-lit classics starring one of the few genuinely great female heroes in teen movie history.
Look, you can tick some boxes if you wish. The sets of a once ornate metropolis now in tatters are glorious. The special effects are splendid. The costumes are wonderful. The supporting cast, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, even Philip Seymour Hoffman in a half complete role prior to his death, all shine – albeit too briefly.
What’s worst though, about Mockingjay Part 2 is, despite the length of this film and the breadth of the whole series, you’re left in confusion. Who really were the bad people? Why all the deaths and destruction? What is the whole bloody point?