After finding success in the literary world, Suzanne Collins’ ‘Hunger Games’ novels made the transition to the big screen in 2012. Since then, the film franchise has become a worldwide phenomenon arguably on par with ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Lord of the Rings’, or even ‘Star Wars’. But this weekend, it all comes to an epic end as Katniss Everdeen finally reaches the Capitol in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’. Unfortunately, the last installment doesn’t exactly measure up to the rest of the series.
Continuing immediately after the events of ‘Part 1’, Jennifer Lawrence’s Everdeen and an all-star squad of resistance fighters including Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne, and Finnick Odair come together for the ultimate mission to liberate the citizens of Panem by assassinating President Snow. However, the ruthless leader and his Gamemakers have turned the city into another arena filled with Peacekeepers and various other traps in an attempt to preserve their way of life.
Though it was filled with a ton of great action, especially in the tunnels under the Capitol, ‘Mockingjay – Part 2’ fell short in a number of different areas. For starters, a number of characters fell to the wayside due to the narrow scope focused on Katniss’ journey. Because the finale is so zoomed in on our heroine, we spend barely any time on characters that we’ve come to know and love over the course of the franchise like Haymitch, Johanna, and Effie. Even Stanley Tucci’s Caesar Flickerman only appeared once in the whole movie, which is a massive bummer. Sure, they probably couldn’t have all fit in nicely into the plot, but it would have been nice to know more about how their stories ended.
One story that had to be squeezed in though was that damn love triangle. While that may have had it’s place in the books and the previous movies, the conversation between Gale and Peeta about Katniss seemed really out of place and super awkward. I know that a huge part of the audience eats it up, but that time could have been used in much better ways.
Finally, despite knocking the action out of the park, the really emotional moments didn’t stick as well as they should have. From the numerous deaths to the callback to Katniss’ famous nickname, these scenes should have evoked some incredibly powerful feelings, but they didn’t at all. If they weren’t rushed, then they weren’t carried out to their full potential. It seemed like director Francis Lawrence put all of his energy into the thrilling action and neglected to balance out the rest of the movie with the hard-hitting feels present throughout the series. At the end of the day, ’Mockingjay’ might have benefitted from being one three hour movie rather than being split up.
Although with all that being said, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ was still an enjoyable movie. Regardless of my problems with it, I wasn’t fully disappointed by the finale. Francis Lawrence delivered an exciting and exhilarating conclusion carried out by an amazing cast. It most certainly isn’t the strongest showing from the franchise, but it’s probably the best new offering at the box office right now.