Katniss Everdeen is back in the final installment of The Hunger Games franchise, and she has a plan to end tyranny in Panem once and for all.

The end of an era has come. The final installment of The Hunger Games franchise hit the big screens and went out on fire.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 begins where the last movie left off exactly — in District 13 right after Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) flipped out on Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). The leader of District 13, Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), is searching for ways to get into the Capitol and destroy it. She enlists the services of the Mockingjay once more.

Katniss is asked to gather troops to take the rebellion to the next step.

When Katniss is sidelined and asked to remain in District 13 while the soldiers go out and fight, the fierce, powerful heroine goes rogue and forms her own plans.

Katniss, Peeta, Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) and a few of Coin’s soldiers infiltrate the capitol, but not with ease.

Instead of a show arena as in the previous films, the Capitol itself is turned into the arena with many “pods” aiming to prevent anyone from getting close to the heart of the city and President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

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With many casualties along the way, no character is safe from the harm the Capitol can induce. The only way to stop the Capitol is to kill Snow, and that is what Katniss sets out to do.

Mockingjay Part 2 starts of slow, matching the pace of Mockingjay Part 1. The majority of the first hour is spent planning to storm the Capitol. It doesn’t pick up until the characters find themselves in the Capitol. From here on out, the action scenes are sporadic. The film almost has a “start-stop” quality. It picks up only to slow down.

The cinematography was spectacular.  The use of multiple filters allowed for further interpretation of the film. In the rebel districts and in times of despair, dark tones and silhouettes were used strategically to show that times have changed and something major is about to happen. In the Capitol, lighter filters were used. It made the Capitol seem not only luxurious but, at the same time, cold and removed from the outlying districts. Most of the amazing shots in the film are close-ups. As the characters fight for their lives and the future of Panem, every emotion is written on their faces and we get to see them up close.  

The Mockingjay is a symbol of hope and revolution and, as usual, Jennifer Lawrence shines in the role. She brings Katniss’ characteristics to life. Katniss is obviously scarred from all of the traumatic events she’s been through, and Lawrence portrays those emotions with ease. Lawrence’s reactions to the events going on around her make her performance even more believable. The audience easily feels whatever Katniss feels.

Josh Hutcherson had his moments. He played angry well, but that could be due to more practice with those scenes. In his much more simple scenes, his acting came off as forced. Hutcherson played the damaged, psychotic parts well, but he lacked the genuine emotions that are needed to make the scene seem real.  

Julianne Moore, who won an Academy Award this year for Still Alice, was amazing as the cold-hearted, radical leader of District 13, Alma Coin. In the last film, we got to know Coin pretty well. In Mockingjay Part 2, she unveils a side that was hidden in the previous movie. Coin wasn’t on screen all of the time, but when she was, she reeled people in. Her performance was exceptional.


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Though Philip Seymour Hoffmandied in 2014, a combination of CGI technology and stand-ins allowed for him to remain as Plutarch Heavensbee in the final film. Hoffman only makes a few, brief appearances, though fortunately they seem realistic, rather than computer-animated.

Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) and Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) are barely in the movie. Harrelson and Banks provided much of the comedic relief throughout the series. Since they were not a huge part of this installment, writers Peter Craig and Danny Strong had to incorporate other means of relief. They attempted this through forced one-liners that weren’t even extremely funny.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is based on the best-selling novel by Suzanne Collins. The age-old question now comes into play: “Which was better? The book or the movie?” In most situations, people would say the book, but in this one, it is undoubtedly the movie.

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The book is told in Katniss’ first person point-of-view. While most of the movie stays with Katniss, there are scenes that show what Coin and Snow are up to. This adds another layer of dramatic irony that the novel lacked. Where the novel was flat and dull, the movie filled it with life and gave it a new look that was much needed.

Splitting the last novel into two movies was genius. It broke down the plotlines of the book into two clearer ones: preparation for war and war. It allowed the writers and director a better chance to follow the book and be detailed.

The most devastating part of the movie is all of the deaths. Some are quick and some are prolonged; some deserve to die, while others do not. Be prepared to go on an emotional rollercoaster.

The ending isn’t filled with action. It doesn’t leave the audience wondering “What happens next?” It simply satisfies. It is a great send-off as we say farewell to The Hunger Games saga.  

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Rating: 4/5



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