Some fans of The Hunger Games franchise were left feeling underwhelmed after last year’s Mockingjay Part 1. The political propaganda angle given to Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and her camera crew left admirers of the series longing for the action pack installments that were games related. To put it bluntly, lovers of the tributes wanted a war film and not the resistance making student films. Luckily for Hunger Games devotees that all changes in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.
Now that we have gotten past the exposition layered Part 1 portion of splitting the finale method, Mockingjay Part 2 picks up immediately where the last film left off with Peeta still having fire in his eyes towards Katniss. The Rebellion is heading for all out war with the Capital and once again Katniss is meant to be their poster child for the cause. Luckily for the United Districts and the audience, the Girl on Fire ditches the plan and goes looking for President Snow devilishly played by Donald Sutherland. Mockingjay Part 2 is billed as a war film, but there’s much more to the movie than just battle scenes.
The film plays more like Lone Survivor with a crew of special soldiers on a secret mission behind enemy lines. There are times in Mockingjay Part 2 that will make you jump and hold your breath as if you are watching, there’s a horror-film-feeling because the team is battling monsters and Saw-like booby traps. Along with brutal scenes on the battlefront, this mixture makes for an entertaining watch, but none of it would work without the Mockingjay herself at the center. In the hands of another actress (see the Divergent series), The Hunger Games franchise could have been just your normal uninspired Young Adult series book adaptation, but Jennifer Lawrence comes strong and makes sure we see the pain and vengeance in Katniss’ eyes.
The only negative from Mockingjay Part 2 is one the film can’t control. It’s obvious that creators wanted to use the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee more than they were capable of doing. The absence is definitely missed especially in the film’s third act. Even with Hoffman’s absence, the idea of ‘War is Hell’ drives the film turning the world of Panem on its head wondering who’s evil and who’s not. The twists are more on a thinkers level in Mockingjay Part 2 that will have you pondering the outcome after the film is over. The results of conflict aren’t always pretty, but don’t worry there is closure and the series goes out on a high note.
Overall I give The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 a rating of 3.25 out of 4 stars.