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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review


So here we are. After four years, Katniss Everdeen is ready to hang up her bow as The Hunger Games series comes to an end (for the time being at least, if all those rumours of sequels and prequels are to be believed). It’s being quite the ride, with the success of the first movie igniting Hollywood’s current obsession with Young Adult adaption, as well as setting Jennifer Lawrence on the path to becoming a bona fide star. But what of Mockingjay Part 2? Is this a fitting send off for the uber popular franchise? The answer is, mostly, yes.

As was laid out for us at the end of Mockingjay Part 1, Panem is in grip of all out war, with the rebels of District 13 on the verge of raiding the Capitol and putting an end to the reign of despot President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Katniss is still being used a figurehead, the Mockingjay, by rebel leader President Coin (Julianne Moore), but sick of being relegated to the sidelines, and wanting a quick end to the senseless slaughter of innocents, she inserts herself into the frontline of battle with the intention of Snow dying by her hand, and her hand alone.

With the stakes raised as high as the can possibly go, our final visit to Panem is an incredibly dark affair. That’s not to say the other movies were all cake and puppies, but when the first shot of a movies is of its heroine battered and bruised and struggling to speak thanks to damaged vocal chords, you know your in for a pretty grim ride. With the the set-up out of the way in Mockingjay Part 1, this concluding chapter is pretty much all pay-off, and director Francis Lawrence wastes no time in getting the ball rolling as quickly as possible. The political undertones of the first three movies are to the fore here, as the war is not only fought on the streets of the Capitol, but within each sides army and on the airwaves as well, with propaganda and possession an ethical grey area becoming weapons just as important as guns or bombs.

While Mockingjay Part 2 is definitely doing things on a grand scale, it still finds time to make things incredibly personable, with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), last seen brainwashed by the Snow to kill Katniss on sight, supposedly cured and put into battle right alongside his would be target. The way Lawrence and Hutchinson interact here is incredibly powerful, their scenes together being both tense and moving all at once, and watching them play off each other really highlights how far both the actors and characters have come since the franchise's first installment in 2012. With this plot thread superbly set up and propelling the story ever onwards, the movie moves into its action packed second act, as the entire Capitol becomes a Hunger Games arena and delivers some heart pounding set pieces that highlights that with the end in sight, absolutely no one is safe. Unfortunately, the narrative stumbles slightly as it moves in the finale. Certain elements seemed rushed, and poorly developed characters, especially Coin, hurt what should a magnificent crescendo. That’s not to say the resolution to the series is bad, in fact it is incredibly satisfying and feels totally earned, but some time should have been taken to smooth out the rough edges.

Our last visit to Panem is an unflinchingly grim one, but Mockingjay Part 2 delivers an incredibly powerful, undeniably poignant conclusion to The Hunger Games series.


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The Movie Bit: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review
The Movie Bit
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