Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour-Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Natalie Dormer, Woody Harrelson
Finally it has arrived after a long and grueling year of waiting. The last installment of The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 2 came to screens around the world expecting to blow audiences away.. but did it deliver?
Director Francis Lawrence has done a commendable job with transforming these novels into film with screen writers Peter Craig and Danny Strong. If you managed to catch the previous film, Mockingjay Part 1, the story ended with captured victor Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson) rescued and transported to the underground District 13. Peeta had been turned against Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and made an attempt to kill her.
Part 2 is an epic follow on from the last three films with war still on the horizon. Finally the ‘Mockingjay’ symbol manages to unite all the districts to march against the Capitol in this mythical place called Panem. You will be on the edge of your seat as you watch a team of carefully selected rebels fight their way to the Capitol in a traditional Hunger Games environment. You will root for some characters, dislike others and be devastated when your favourites lose their lives to the cause.
It was great to have Peeta back on board for this last film and finally we see Katniss’s long term friend and part time lover Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) compete for her confusing heart. Who doesn’t love to throw themselves into a fantasy love story? This film had so many similarities to a thriller with scenes that make you jump out of your skin, that unfortunately you won’t be leaving the cinema feeling uplifted and satisfied. Some unsettling scenes will have you wanting to call a loved one and tell them you love them.
As the rebels pass through each obstacle toward the Capitol mansion, more and more people seem to die in some horrific way. The Mockingjay Part 2 is more than just an ending to a series; it carried on a lesson that even though you may get rid of one person in power, there will always be someone there to take their place that are just as evil.
This film was expected to generate a rough $300 million but managed to fall short with only $247 million worldwide. Surprisingly the Mockingjay Part 2 made the least amount out of all the films with less people rolling in to view the finale. Perhaps people were over the ongoing franchise, although any movie which reaches past the $100 million mark in its opening is considered a success within the film industry. Unfortunately the Mockingjay Part 2 did not receive the attention it needed with Star Wars: The Force Awakens stealing headlines before the film was released.
For the first time, you are able to witness the psychological battle scars of both Peeta and Katniss who show extreme signs of PTSD. I will add that this was portrayed extremely well by Hutcherson. After reading the books, I really didn’t think he had it in him when I saw he was lined up to play the character of Peeta. He’s managed to continuously impress me throughout the series.
The film ends with no real resolution to their situation and I would have preferred more focus on the love story element towards the ending to create an uplifting conclusion. I can understand some of the disappointment with this film, as any movie which has children ‘fighting to the death’ is never going to sit well with an audience. Perhaps they could have dialed that back a tad.
Despite this, I’m sad to see this series come to end. There have been a number of other series such as The Maze Runner and Divergent which have tried to replicate the same story line, but I believe The Hunger Games has done it best. You really can’t compare it to anything else.