Dec 20, 2016
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)
Ready for the Hunger Games quadrilogy to come to an end? If you couldn’t believe that Mockingjay — Part 1 ended in a cliffhanger, then you may want to hurry up and check out Mockingjay — Part 2. The conclusion to the series helps tie up loose ends, while freeing up some time for the next YA film-to-movie transition.
Mockingjay — Part 1 ended on a harsh note as Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) attempted to kill Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence). At the start of this film, a medical team tries to help Peeta recover from his brainwashing and other health issues, while Katniss fights President Coin (Juliette Moore) even harder to allow her to enter into battle with the rest of the rebellion. All the while, Panem is in more disarray as the rebel districts begin to make headway by blowing up dams and killing many Capital soldiers.
Johanna (Jena Malone), who’s also been recovered in the rescue mission, encourages Katniss to sneak onto a vessel headed to the Capitol so she can join the fight. However, when Katniss is shot while defying orders, President Coin realizes that she’s going to have to work with Katniss, or else the star of the rebellion will end up dead. So she decides to put Katniss on a special team, with a film crew, so they can fuel the revolutionary fire with battle coverage while allowing Katniss to feel like she’s making a difference.
The group is sent out with the rest of the forces, but are told they’ll have to follow behind the action in order to keep Katniss safe. Boggs (Mahershala Ali), the leader, is given a holographic map that’s designed to find booby traps before they’re triggered. However, Boggs quickly ends up fatally injured by a landmine, and knowing Katniss has bigger plans, passes the holographic map onto her before dying.
Not long after, the group must rush to escape another trap in the form of lethal tar. They manage to escape into a building just in time, but the trap signals soldiers who quickly swarm the area. The remaining uninjured group barely escape before the building is brought down by Peacekeepers. This leads President Snow (Donald Sutherland) to broadcast Katniss’ death to all of Panem in order to bring down the morale of the rebels.
The group continue on with their journey, but are slowed down due to the many traps and Peeta’s many homicidal episodes. Despite this, they manage to take shelter in a friend’s basement, but Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Katniss quickly leave again when President Snow sends out an invitation for Capital residents to seek shelter in the presidential mansion. However, on the way to the mansion, a hovercraft drops first aid packs with Capitol markings to the ground. As people begin to touch the kits, they explode, causing numerous injuries. The rebel doctors rush in to help people, including Prim (Willow Shields). Katniss sees her sister and runs toward her, but another explosion goes off, killing Prim and knocking Katniss unconscious.
When Katniss comes to, the battle is over, and Snow has been captured. Katniss is allowed to visit with him for a moment, and he tells her it was Coin and the rebels who organized the attack that killed her sister. His story reminds Katniss of a trap that Gale once came up with, so she confronts him about the issue. When he denies it, she decides to cut ties with her old friend completely.
Shortly after, the remaining Victors are gathered by Coin to cast a vote over whether they should host one final Hunger Games, this time, with the Capitol children. Katniss ends up being the deciding vote, but only votes in favor of the idea in exchange for being given the opportunity to execute Snow herself.
On the day of the execution, Katniss gears up with her bow. But instead of shooting Snow, she takes out President Coin. The crowd runs onto the field to attack Snow, while Katniss is dragged off by the guards. Shortly after, Katniss is pardoned for this crime, and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) escorts her back home to what’s left of District 12. Later on, Peeta returns home too. Although he’s still traumatized, he seems to have it under control, and they carry on with their lives by trying to forget their trauma and starting their own family.
Mockingjay — Part 2 is definitely more fast paced than Part 1, which made the movie a step up. However, like the first part of this film, they seemed to leave out so much from the story that the true impact of the plot isn’t felt. This is a bit of letdown, because The Hunger Games was a huge catch in comparison to the films that followed, so it would have been nice to see the passion that was put into the first film also put into the final film, but it is what it is.
Part 2 certainly has a lot more CGI going on, which helped the direction of the film a whole lot. The booby traps are similar to the ending of the first Hunger Games, which helped tie in all of the stories. Some of the traps were pretty cool too, while others weren’t really on the radar. The lizard mutts, for instance, were pretty freaky and I almost felt like those who had fallen in the revolution were making up the mutts, much like the heads on the Muttations used in the finale of The Hunger Games. The tar, on the other hand, was a bit off. It suddenly seemed to sprout appendages, which ended up hanging a body merely for effect. It even magically stopped right where Katniss’ team took refuge from the rapidly climbing substance, which seemed a little farfetched.
The film begins shortly after Peeta attacks Katniss, which was designed to be a cliffhanger, but Part 1 took the scene way too far, so it just ended up being a dull “to be continued” segue that you’d catch in any mediocre TV drama. Peeta’s brainwashing is an important part of the book, but it seems to be left on the backburner here. It almost feels as if they only took the action sequences out of the book for this part of the movie, which left much of the story untold.
When the revolution is all said and done (which the audience conveniently misses out on because Katniss passes out), there’s a weird animosity going on between Katniss and Coin that isn’t really explained. So, when Katniss kills Coin instead of Snow in the ceremony, you almost think Katniss has lost her mind. However, the book reveals the many immoral things that Coin did in order to come to power. Even Snow is given a form of redemption in the movie, because we simply don’t get to see how twisted the man really is.
During the filming of both parts of Mockingjay, Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away. His character played a pretty big role in the final books and in the film, so I was surprised as to how well they portrayed him throughout the film. His death required rewrites and some creative editing was used, but the part seemed whole, which was actually quite impressive.
Mockingjay – Part 2 is the last Hunger Games film you’ll ever have to watch, so if you’ve got the last three under your belt already, then you may as well finish it out with this film. Of course, the ending is a bit of a plateau more than an inspiration, so don’t get your hopes up. Oh, and spoilers: your favorite character will probably die.