To conclude the beloved “Hunger Games” series, we had to sit through two movies to complete the third book in the series. This frustrating cash grab resulted in a completely inert first half. Would the second part make up for it and be a suitable farewell to Philip Seymour Hoffman?
Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has survived an attack from the brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) at the end of the previous film. She is soon shot by an assassin, but survives. The need to attack the Capital is obvious, so while assigned to a propaganda squad, Katniss rallies the troops and they go ahead and advance on President Snow (Donald Sutherland).
To answer the question from the intro, this absolutely ramps up the action. There are some very exciting sequences in the second act and there are a few twists that those of us who haven’t read the books could very well be surprised by. Nothing gets particularly gory, but there is an impressive amount of violence and quite a body count. A lot of elements play out predictably with our heroes avoiding some danger, just because, but a few points got relatively dark. There is a callback to one of the earlier films that the years had erased from this Examiner’s mind but it was cool.
With the benefit of hindsight, if we would have been given maybe a half hour of part one to set things up and if you shave about 15 minutes off from this (especially the protracted ending), you would have a reasonable movie. This is just one of the more obvious recent examples of studios taking advantage of audiences who have come this far in a series. Of course they’ll see how it ends if they have invested in two movies.
It’s also convenient that everyone is included in this particular group, even those who are either physically inept or could be dangerous. The need for everyone from a practical standpoint pales in comparison to the need from a dramatic standpoint.
Special features include: audio commentary and a look at a sketchbook from the film.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” is a fairly good way to wrap up the series that turned out to be a little bit better than this Examiner expected. We have closure in, from what I understand, a rather faithful film to the source material. Now, maybe we’ll get some stories where the characters don’t all have ridiculous names.
Rated PG-13 113 minutes 2016