The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 – Review

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Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Willow Shields, Sam Claifin, Eilzabeth Banks, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci
Based on the young adult novels and additional adaptation credit by: Suzanne Collins
Written for the screen by: Peter Craig and Danny Strong
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
IMDb Score: 6.7
Metacritic Score: 65
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material

The end of a series often means…well, the end of a series.

With some, it’s a touchstone of a period of time where a character or series of films symbolizes one’s youth (Harry Potter for some). Others, it’s the dream of seeing a story done correctly (Lord of the Rings, before The Hobbit). Most times, however, it’s just a means to an end.

The Hunger Games gave us a main stream version of Battle Royale and showed that Jennifer Lawrence could be a legit movie star. The continuing movies…well, really didn’t do much else for her.

So, with that said, how does the final part of the final movie of this series?

Katniss (Lawrence), now the Mockingjay of the Rebels, has one goal to achieve: Assassinate President Snow (Sutherland).

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You know what? I’ll do you guys a favor: click here to see the review of Mockingjay Part 1.

I’ll do you a bigger favor: that review is essentially the same for the first part.

Don’t want to give me some clicks? Fine, here’s the TL;DR: they turned the core concept of the series that was started by the first two movies and turned it into a watered down political thriller that only has Jennifer Lawrence to keep the movie interesting.

Yes, there are some trappings of the first two films that come back (the traps) but it still is a political thriller that just limps it’s way to the ending that also is about 20  – 30 minutes too long.

Honestly, that’s a damned disappointment coming from the first movie. The first movie gave enough of the character development needed…and then wowed with what felt like a visceral action movie. That visceral feeling never returned after the second movie, which is the last time you ever see the games in question.

The last movie relied too much on it’s built in character development to carry the film through, but the film doesn’t realize that it cut that development well low just to get to the kid murder. When you take away the kid murder, you have three films that only had about an hour, 30 minutes total. Of that, Katniss is the only character you really empathize with.

Not Heimlich, not Yiffee, not Peta (I only found in this movie his name was Peta, not Peter), not any of these characters. Seriously, the characters can be described in a few words at most. How is a film expecting an audience to care about characters that, honestly, the series really didn’t care about.

And there’s no Lenny Kravitz! I know, he died in…the second film? I think? Honestly, who cares.

The ending, well endings, concludes on such a whimper. The film has two or three anti-climactic endings that weigh in on each other one by one. Let’s be frank here: the movie just doesn’t end and when it finally does, it’s more of a sigh of relief than it is something that satisfies.

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That’s the crux of it really: this is a wholly unsatisfying end to what could have been a great series, but will just be a good series with one great installment. It’s disappointing, but then this series has gone on for too long and needed to stop.

Both parts could have easily been made into one by cutting the majority of the character development and just stayed on action. As it is, Part 2 is just as weak as Part 1, leaving a nasty tasting one-two punch of disappointment. 

The Wiz Says #58

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