Movie Review: “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” – Brilliant

Written by Caitlin Cooper November 22, 2015

mockingjay part 2

“The Hunger Games” is definitely one of the most popular film series in recent years, and it’s clear why. The story is about people surviving and fighting against a corrupt government. It’s about the consequences of violence and war. And it’s about people coming together to make a difference. The films have a good balance of drama and action, and the message gets you thinking. It doesn’t hurt that there are so many great characters to root for. It’s no surprise, then, that “Mockingjay Part 2” has been one of the most highly anticipated films of 2015. And as the finale of this highly popular film series, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d want it to be.

“Mockingjay Part 2” picks up right where we left our traumatized characters. Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) reunion with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) ended with him trying to kill her, and he almost succeeded. So now she must deal with the reality that she may have gotten him back, but he’s been brainwashed by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) to hate her. And now more than ever the rebellion reaches its climax as the districts finally all come together and enter the Capital to overthrow Snow. But Snow hasn’t made it easy for them: he’s set traps like those in the Games. And Katniss soon learns that there’s been a political plot growing that she was unaware of, one that doesn’t care about the casualty count.

“That’s not Peeta.”

The pacing of “Mockingjay Part 2” is quite fast once Katniss heads to the front to fight; the pacing seems to be so go-go-go to compensate for the slow pacing of “Mockingjay Part 1” which focused more on the aftermath of the Games like PTSD and the beginnings of an organized rebellion. And while “Mockingjay Part 2” does have some quieter moments to balance the quick ones, sometimes the movie almost moves a little too fast and it feels like some things don’t quite line up. But because this film is more similar to “Catching Fire”, my favourite film in the series, you’re kept on the edge of your seat. The movie is very intense and suspenseful, dramatic and dark. The story really exposes the ugliness of war and politics. We see some characters willing to do anything to win the war – like Gale (Liam Hemsworth) who isn’t bothered by killing innocent Capital citizens – and some characters who maintain their moral compass – like Katniss who makes it clear she doesn’t want any innocents to be harmed on their quest to assassinate Snow. Katniss has PTSD and struggles with her role as the Mockingjay because she herself has very little hope left. Finnick (Sam Claflin) is pretty similar to Katniss, and he looks out for Peeta who is fighting to be himself again. Gale has become corrupted by the war, and you can see the affect that has on his relationship with Katniss. The characters aren’t perfect – in fact, they make many mistakes – but they’re so human. The get angry, they cry, they grieve, and they struggle. But they fight to keep their hope alive, and to protect the ones they love. There is a cringe-worthy scene in which Peeta and Gale talk about who Katniss will choose once the war is over, and I frankly could’ve done without it. The love triangle is never far from the audience’s minds, so to bring it up so blatantly in a quite cheesy way was a bit much.

mockingjay part 2

People who haven’t read the book will probably be quite surprised by the plot twist in this film. It’s a good twist and delivered in a rather dark way (who knew Snow could be so oddly honest with Katniss). But the twist provides the ultimate take on how war and power can corrupt people. It all leads up to an intense climax that reminds audiences of who Katniss was before she suffered so much in “Catching Fire”. Not unlike the “Harry Potter” films, “Mockingjay Part 2” tries to tie up the story quite neatly with a flash forward. But not before it gives Katniss the time to finally, finally grieve and be angry and sad about all she’s lost. It was a beautiful moment that was moving. Some may think the flash forward ending is a little cheesy, and perhaps it is, but after such a bleak set of films, it’s nice to end on a hopeful note and see the characters finally have the love and happiness they wanted all along.

“Miss Everdeen, I thought we promised we’d always be honest with each other.”

Of course, part of what makes this movie so good is its talented cast. Lawrence has proved herself to be good at playing both the lighter scenes, and the darker ones. One of her best moments in the film is when she finally allows herself to breakdown. Hutcherson played Peeta as severely traumatized and volatile, while also giving moments of the old Peeta who was deeply emotional. Hemsworth, Harrelson, Hoffman, Shields, and Banks all continued to play their characters well. No character was forgettable. An actor who really stood out, though, is Sutherland who made President Snow seem like such a creepy character in “Mockingjay Part 2”. He’s very good at playing a sinister villain.

mockingjay part 2

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2015, and is the end of a great film series. It may not be perfect, but when you’re watching it you become so engrossed in the action, drama, and hope of it that these issues seem small in comparison with what the film gets right. “Mockingjay Part 2” is a great ending to an unforgettable film series.

My Rating: 9.5/10

mockingjay part 2

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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