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Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
11.17.2015
6 10
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PLOT: Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and her allies, including friends Gale (Liam Hemsworth) & Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), sneak behind enemy lines in order to put a stop to President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) reign once and for all.

REVIEW: Has splitting the final installment of a series into two films ever worked on a level beyond the financial?  Sure, the financial success of BREAKING DAWN PART 1 & 2, HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 & 2 helped start a trend where franchise producers were able to eke an extra movie out of a franchise that’s nearly done, but the result is always the same. The first film is uneventful and boring, while the second feels like a inanely drawn out climax. This was especially damaging to the Potter films, which always maintained a high level of quality, and along the same lines it’s also tainted THE HUNGER GAMES series.

mockingjay part 2 jennifer lawrence

While the box office coffers will certainly be just as full as ever, did even the most devoted fans think MOCKINGJAY PART 1 was any good? At over two hours it felt terribly bloated, with so much exposition and talk, and next to no action for its main heroine, Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss, who remained shockingly passive throughout. In that regard, MOCKINGJAY PART 2 is an improvement as this time Katniss gets to do a little more than mope around, with her at least getting in on the action somewhat. But, running a bloated 130 minutes (a lot considering it’s only really half-a-movie), MOCKINGJAY PART 2 still feels like a desperate attempt to keep a franchise going rather than a full-on film. MOCKINGJAY could have easily been one really good 2.5 hour film rather than two only okay ones that add up to over four hours.

Even still, MOCKINGJAY PART 2 is certainly a must-see for fans of the series, and worth watching on the merits of Jennifer Lawrence’s performance alone. It’s no fluke that this series has made Lawrence one of the biggest stars on the planet, and she cuts an iconic figure and the increasingly battle-weary Katniss. She’s grown a lot since the fresh-faced teen she was in THE HUNGER GAMES, and her performance is a star-turn in the true sense of the term. To his credit, director Francis Lawrence seems well-aware of that fact, and Lawrence is rarely off-screen. Josh Hutcherson also fares particularly well, with Peeta having the most interesting arc. At the end of the last film, he tried to kill Katniss by wringing her neck and here Peeta is only modestly reformed, with his brainwashing by Snow’s goons threatening to kick-in at any moment – making him the perfect weapon for Julianne Moore’s Alma Coin, who may wind-up being just as bad as Snow. Liam Hemsworth doesn’t fare quite as well, with Gale still being a rather dull and two-dimensional character. The conclusion sets up a kind of moral vagueness to the character Hemsworth isn’t quite able to convey, but some of this may be due to the material rather than his performance.

With much of the film having been shot two years ago, there’s something bittersweet about seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman on-screen in his final feature role, with Plutarch Heavensbee having a relatively solid role in the proceedings. Previous franchise players like Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci have little more than cameos here, while Jena Malone has a handful of good scenes opposite Lawrence – a good thing as the two play off each other extremely well.

 mockingjay part 2 jennifer lawrence

One frustrating thing about the saga is how – despite the billions it’s raked in – the films still seem rather modest in scope. While not in 3D, the movie had a rather dull, dark look, and some of this seems to be a ploy to cover up some less-than-awesome CGI. There are a handful of decent action scenes, with the traps laid out around the city by Snow’s minions leading to some rather ghoulish deaths for a PG-13 teen movie, but the formula becomes a tad stale as it goes on.

While not up to the standards of the first two films (the second – CATCHING FIRE – remains the best all-around entry), MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 is superior to its predecessor and solid enough that fans will no doubt flock to this in droves as they usually do. In the end, THE HUNGER GAMES has proven to be a good series, although it can’t be denied the films could have been much better had they been kept as a trilogy and more money put in to the CGI. But, as a launching pad for Jennifer Lawrence, the saga has done its job and then some!

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Source: JoBlo.com

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3:50AM on 11/28/2015

Blah

I really liked the first 2... And after the 3rd being so slow and uneventful, i was hoping the finale would go out with a bang. What a huge let down. throughout the whole movie, i kept thinking about the big ending... Then it kept dragging and i knew the end was going to be rushed or even non existent. I felt like i was watching a hobbit/LOTR movie.... Nothing happened. I think the series would have been better served if they found new ways to get katniss into the hunger games, never have
I really liked the first 2... And after the 3rd being so slow and uneventful, i was hoping the finale would go out with a bang. What a huge let down. throughout the whole movie, i kept thinking about the big ending... Then it kept dragging and i knew the end was going to be rushed or even non existent. I felt like i was watching a hobbit/LOTR movie.... Nothing happened. I think the series would have been better served if they found new ways to get katniss into the hunger games, never have an uprising... Just show 2 more survival battles. Great start.... HORRIBLE finish!
Spectre, the night before, and creed are all better and worth paying to see before this finale!
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10:21AM on 11/19/2015

I don't understand.

No spoilers here, but like a lot of other finales, this one is just confusing and uneventful. Catching Fire was pretty enjoyable, and I hoped this would have followed in those steps after the slow third installment. It doesn't, it's pretty dry, and by the end of it all I was just confused and wondering what it all meant. Overall a bad ending, a slow movie, and probably proof why they shouldn't have split the book.
No spoilers here, but like a lot of other finales, this one is just confusing and uneventful. Catching Fire was pretty enjoyable, and I hoped this would have followed in those steps after the slow third installment. It doesn't, it's pretty dry, and by the end of it all I was just confused and wondering what it all meant. Overall a bad ending, a slow movie, and probably proof why they shouldn't have split the book.
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6:41AM on 11/19/2015
Now that the whole series is done, maybe that previously cancelled Battle Royal remake can finally get off the ground.
Now that the whole series is done, maybe that previously cancelled Battle Royal remake can finally get off the ground.
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5:53PM on 11/18/2015

Twilight

I feel about this the way I felt after I saw the first two episodes of Twilight. I lost interest. The Same with Divergent, not real interested. I'm not that big a fan of Ms Lawrence, I really don't see why she is so hyped. She had one good film (Winter's Bone) but otherwise she's just another TV actress. She's now made of money so good for her, but she won't get mine.
I feel about this the way I felt after I saw the first two episodes of Twilight. I lost interest. The Same with Divergent, not real interested. I'm not that big a fan of Ms Lawrence, I really don't see why she is so hyped. She had one good film (Winter's Bone) but otherwise she's just another TV actress. She's now made of money so good for her, but she won't get mine.
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5:06PM on 11/18/2015

THANK GOD

These pieces of shit films are done bury them with twilight forever please. I never watched anything so fuckin cliche in my life. And have no intention of seeing this one either I spitted the last one and one before that too. Everything about these films were horrendous.
These pieces of shit films are done bury them with twilight forever please. I never watched anything so fuckin cliche in my life. And have no intention of seeing this one either I spitted the last one and one before that too. Everything about these films were horrendous.
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+0
2:16PM on 11/18/2015
While "professionally " made and have decent production values, these movies look so Hollywoody in the way Hollywood always chased cloned trends in the 80's. The look is generic without personality in production design or story, just cash chasing drivel.
This series of movies are going to look incredibly dated and cheesy in a few short years. I mean they already have an aura of Hollywoody cheese to them.
Honestly it even has Donald Sutherland, the king of these type of cheesy Hollywood
While "professionally " made and have decent production values, these movies look so Hollywoody in the way Hollywood always chased cloned trends in the 80's. The look is generic without personality in production design or story, just cash chasing drivel.
This series of movies are going to look incredibly dated and cheesy in a few short years. I mean they already have an aura of Hollywoody cheese to them.
Honestly it even has Donald Sutherland, the king of these type of cheesy Hollywood productions.
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7:52AM on 11/18/2015

I have to agree with Chris

I was hoping for an action-loaded film, after the very slow part. 1...
But the action scenes are few and uneventful, to be honest.
The cast do good with whatever material they have to do with, though.
A question though (POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT)...
I haven't read the book, so I wonder if the letter from Plutarch, at the end was a lettre as well in the book or if it's a way to deal with Hoffman passing.
(END POSSIBLE SPOILER)
Funny enough, I thought about Lord Of The Ring, at the end...
I was hoping for an action-loaded film, after the very slow part. 1...
But the action scenes are few and uneventful, to be honest.
The cast do good with whatever material they have to do with, though.
A question though (POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT)...
I haven't read the book, so I wonder if the letter from Plutarch, at the end was a lettre as well in the book or if it's a way to deal with Hoffman passing.
(END POSSIBLE SPOILER)
Funny enough, I thought about Lord Of The Ring, at the end... DON'T START SHOOTING, I'm not talking quality wise... I was wondering if people are going to criticize the many ending of this Part 2 as they did the endings of Return Of The King!
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12:49AM on 11/18/2015
What bothers me about this entire story so far.. is Katniss growth in character. There is no growth its always her selfish needs and never the cause. Risk everyones lives to save the people that mean the most to her, or she will throw a temper tantrum, and the army will just fold and let her do whatever she wants. Last film i was really hoping she would grow up and become a leader and stop having temper tantrums like a child. So the only thing I'm hoping from this film, is that her
What bothers me about this entire story so far.. is Katniss growth in character. There is no growth its always her selfish needs and never the cause. Risk everyones lives to save the people that mean the most to her, or she will throw a temper tantrum, and the army will just fold and let her do whatever she wants. Last film i was really hoping she would grow up and become a leader and stop having temper tantrums like a child. So the only thing I'm hoping from this film, is that her character comes into her own and becomes an actual leader of a rebellion.
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12:27AM on 11/18/2015
This can't help but feel a bit harsh. Part 1 was pretty slow-going, sure, but I really enjoyed the slow burn of it all. It really allowed the moments of action to POP, while most of the runtime got to deal with awesome, deep-thinking themes of propaganda and how the politics of the movie relates to modern day. It wasn't nearly as good as Catching Fire, but it only felt like a minor step down. Now with Part 2 ramping up the action, I imagine both films would work like gangbusters when viewed
This can't help but feel a bit harsh. Part 1 was pretty slow-going, sure, but I really enjoyed the slow burn of it all. It really allowed the moments of action to POP, while most of the runtime got to deal with awesome, deep-thinking themes of propaganda and how the politics of the movie relates to modern day. It wasn't nearly as good as Catching Fire, but it only felt like a minor step down. Now with Part 2 ramping up the action, I imagine both films would work like gangbusters when viewed back-to-back, which would help Part 1 avoid feeling anticlimactic.

Fans of the books seem split on whether it was necessary or not to split the final one into 2, but here's hoping Part 2 justifies it and is a bit better than Mr. Bumbray's review would have us believe.
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