The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

"Extraordinary"

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review


Suzanne Collins' saga comes to a suitably epic conclusion in a climactic series of battles that are packed with emotional kicks to the gut. Director Francis Lawrence continues to show remarkable reverence for the source novels while relying on his A-list cast to bring layers of nuance to even the smallest roles. The result is a massively textured war movie that's packed with darkly personal moments and glimpses of wit and spark. It's also a satisfying conclusion to the franchise that avoids the usual Hollywood bombast.

As the rebels prepare to attack Panem's Capitol and President Snow (Donald Sutherland), the rebellion's figurehead Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) decides to take matters into her own hands. Rebel leaders Coin and Plutarch (Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman) try to stay one step ahead of Katniss, using her as the Mockingjay to rally the troops. With Gale (Liam Hemsworth), a not-quite-unbrainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a small group of cohorts, Katniss works her way across the bombed-out city to Snow's mansion, intending to put an arrow through his heart. But the battle takes a shocking twist, and Katniss has to make a difficult decision about doing the right thing no matter what it costs her.

Right from the start, the filmmakers continue to echo Katniss' earliest act of heroism when she volunteered for the Hunger Games to protect her sister Prim (Willow Shields) and then vowed to keep Peeta safe in the violent arena. These are the things that drive her right to the very end of this saga, holding the audience in an emotional grip. This means that the political nastiness, violent warfare and publicity posturing all have a much deeper resonance for the audience, while for Katniss they are virtually irrelevant. Her mission remains untainted: she just wants to protect her loved ones and make the future safe. Which is why her speeches carry such rousing power.

As in Collins' novels, Katniss never accepts her role as a symbol of freedom. She knows that the world is more complicated than that, and Lawrence plays her as a young woman churning with conflicting feelings as she tries (and often fails) to understand what's going on around her. But as the series has progressed, she's grown more adept at spotting the real villains around her. And Lawrence beautifully plays her scenes with Hutcherson and Hemsworth to reveal subtle details.

But then, all of the actors are superb, offering involving, layered performances. Every supporting cast member brings a blast of authenticity to his or her role, adding to the earthy realism that makes this franchise far more than a teen-dystopia fantasy. This is a series about finding hope for the next generation. And the elegant final scene reminds us that there's always a better way to do this than shooting each other.

Watch the trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2



Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Budget: $125M

Production compaines: Studio Babelsberg, Lionsgate, Color Force

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: Nina Jacobson,

Starring: as Katniss Everdeen, as Peeta Mellark, as Gale Hawthorne, as Haymitch Abernathy, as Effie Trinket, as Alma Coin, as Plutarch Heavensbee, as President Coriolanus Snow, as Primrose Everdeen, as Finnick Odair, as Johanna Mason, as Caesar Flickerman, as Beetee Latier, as Cressida, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali as Boggs, as Mrs. Everdeen, as Annie Cresta, as Messalla, as Enobaria, as Commander Lyme, Patina Miller as Commander Paylor, as Antonius, as Castor, as Pollux, Omid Abtahi as Homes, Eugenie Bondurant as Tigris, Sarita Choudhury as Egeria, Brandon Cyrus as District 13 Civilian

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