The Hunger Games franchise has achieved some amazing things. It pretty much launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career, and made her one of the biggest stars on the planet. It turned young adult book to film adaptations from something only for Twilight fans into films that almost everybody can enjoy. It got general audiences to watch, and enjoy a political thriller, without them even knowing! This took what looked on the outside like a typical love triangle ‘who’s she gonna pick?!’, and turned it into a serious commentary on the politics of war, and the moral grey areas that surround it. What a shame it is to see this wonderful franchise stumble at the last hurdle.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is the fourth and final instalment in the Hunger Games trilogy (yes, you read that right), that follows Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and all of your favourite series regulars as they finally head to the Capitol in an attempt to take down President Snow (Donald Sutherland).
So I’ll get this out-of-the-way first – this is the least good film in the franchise, but that doesn’t mean it’s particularly bad. A lot of the qualities the other films in the series have are also on show here. All of the actors are excellent. Of course Jennifer Lawrence elevates the material, and Donald Sutherland plays one of the best on-screen villains I’ve seen for a long time. The film looks great, with all of the costume design, make-up, sets and visual effects being flawless. None of my problems with this film are to do with the production, they’re to do with the story.
There were some people who watched Mockingjay – Part 1 and said ‘that was boring and slow! Nothing happened!’. I can understand where they’re coming from, but to me, and many other people, it was an excellent builder of tension, and managed to both set up the franchises final instalment, and stand alone as a tense political thriller. The second half of the story struggles to keep up, with not a lot of plot left to explore, and what little story there is feeling as if it’s spread a little too thin.
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