The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (d. Francis Lawrence USA 2015)

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

Entertainment: starfish 

Performances: starfish starfish  

Predictability: starfish 

Technical: starfish starfish 

So here it is again. The Hunger Games (d.Gary RossFrancis Lawrence USA 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)much like Twilight (d. Catherine HardwickeChris WeitzDavid SladeBill Condon USA 20082009201020112012) and Harry Potter (d. Chris ColumbusAlfonso CuarónMike NewellDavid Yates,  USA/UK 20012002200420052007200920102011) is a film series that ends with two parts. The Hunger Games was based upon a book and has met with considerable success. The franchise is very strong by this point and has a considerable set up inThe Hunger Games (d. Ross USA 2012) and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (d. Lawrence USA 2013). As noted a film in two parts isn’t anything new and would appear to imply that it is highly recommended that you watch part 1 before part 2 as they are the same film. Without going into the complications of such a process it is recommended that you watch the first part to understand the second part. This film series has its problems and some may have been identified here but lets take a look at the finale of the series Mockingjay Part 2 . 

So if we start with characters and actors we can see one of the biggest problems the film has. The main character is a bland ‘everygirl’ that can stand in for the target audience – teenage girls. She has strength but nothing too dynamic of a character to actually alienate the audience, though this may work in a book that explores a particular world it doesn’t translate to film very well. The character of Katniss Everdeen doesn’t have much of a character. similarly, her love interests fall to a similar trap. Their characters are all defined by what they can offer Katniss Everdeen and so don’t have character beyond their relationship to her. All three are just bland characters. Hard to say whether this means that the acting is bad or just that they had nothing to work with to begin with. These characters are central to the story and therefore important for making the film entertaining. But, being that they hit plot points without any development, there is no way of empathising with them as characters and following them from plot point to plot point. It’s a ‘this guy is here to do this’ and ‘that guy is to do that’. This reads as a painful paint by numbers predictable narrative that lacks any real emotion and makes for a pretty poor film.

If we also consider for a moment that this is meant to be a finale of a trilogy/quadrilogy then there isn’t much that’s exciting here. Fight scenes lack any real action they’re just events. In earlier films the action elements weren’t as big as they were marketed or as the subject matter would suggest, but the filmmakers have not learnt any lessons by this point. Technically the film has some good but standard use of Cinematography and CGI as to show an attempt of something. However, it is unfortunate how little it all impacts on getting the film anywhere near entertaining. SPOILERS. One of the central themes is an interesting an idea, is a rebellion any better than the government they’re trying to overthrow? Unfortunately the film has set up the government as the enemy so much by this point, that this idea feels underdeveloped and thrown in. Also, since Katniss Everdeen and President Coin do not ever really get on and their aims are quite different, the ending is very predictable when President Snow and President Coin are in her line of sight. What happens next is never really explored either leaving the film without any real ending and instead leaving loads of problems. Most unfortunate given that the theme isn’t a bad one. END OF SPOILERS.

Overall this was a very disappointing film with some very painful moments. You knew what was going to happen and it lazily went through the motions as if someone had forced it. No passion, no emotion, no real characters. It may have been directed at a different and younger target audience but this is no excuse to simplify plot points and characters to the point of being absolutely nothing. There was no points of psychologically exploring any of the themes or charactesr that could be offered by the central concept. A most unfortunate film best avoided.

Synopsis

Katniss Everdeen, in a dystopian world, fights to overthrow the government that have sent many to their deaths and exploited the masses.

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Website

Jennifer Lawrence’s Site

Josh Hutcherson’s Site

Interview with the Cast

Interview with the Cast

Interview with the Director

The Mockingjay Problem

The Hunger Games and Feminism

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games (Trilogy in One). Scholastic Press, 2011.



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