REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

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Review by Dustin Heller

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is the fourth and final film in the Hunger Games film series and is the sequel to last years The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  Based upon the Hunger Games trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins, the film is the second part to the final book in the series, Mockingjay.  The film is directed by Francis Lawrence who was also in the director’s chair for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson return as Katniss and Peeta and are joined by an all-star cast including  Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksJulianne MooreSam ClaflinJena MalonePhilip Seymour Hoffman, and Donald Sutherland.

Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) is back and on a mission to kill President Snow and take down the Capital and all it stands for.  Katniss, along with her friends Peeta (Hutcherson), Gale (Hemsworth), Cressida (Dormer), and Finnick (Claflin) are assigned to a special team that is given the ultimate mission of attacking Snow’s mansion.  Rebels from all of the 13 districts are headed to the Capital as well in an attempt to liberate the citizens of Panem once and for all.  It is a game of cat and mouse as Snow has set up pods all throughout the Capital as he is treating this war just like the Hunger Games.  It is up to Katniss and the rebels to defeat Snow and his army before everything is destroyed.

The end is finally here for a series that seems to get worse with each passing movie.  That statement isn’t entirely true in regards to Mockingjay – Part 2, as it is a better and much more entertaining movie than Mockingjay – Part 1, although that isn’t saying a lot.  I’m not a fan of films based on books that split up one book into two movies.  Because of this, I waited until this past weekend to watch Mockingjay – Part 1 and I really struggled through it.  The reason I mention this is because Part 2 picks up right where Part 1 leaves off and they expect the viewer to remember exactly what happened at the end of Part 1 from a year ago.  That said, I’d highly recommend a refresher before heading to see Part 2.

There are a handful of action scenes that are done pretty well, but for the most part the movie just seemed to drag on and had me wondering when something was actually going to happen.  Even the ending dragged on about fifteen more minutes than it should have.  I also felt the movie was very obvious and lacked any sort of surprise with the plot twists (I won’t say any more about that).

There wasn’t anything that really stood out as exceptional in Mockingjay – Part 2, the performances were good, the CGI was good, and the story wasn’t bad, but nothing about it was excellent.  This is a film that the diehards will love just because they love the books and the characters, but I don’t feel there is much here for the casual fan.  In closing, although a little disappointing, I’m glad to finally have this series come to an end.

Grade:  C-

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opens in theaters on Friday, November 20.