Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Willow Shields
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Written by: Peter Craig, Danny Strong
Running Time: 2 hr. 17 min
It’s finally here, the conclusion to the entertaining science fiction series. Closing this chapter of young adult fiction for good. Or at least until some studio exec tries to reboot the series a few years from now!
The adventures of Katniss Everdeen have provided us with many hours of quality cinema. Thanks mostly to a game cast, led by the always superb Jennifer Lawrence. The world set up in these stories is thrilling and loaded with ingenious surprises, along with perils that have severe consequences for key characters in this game. And while Mockingjay – Part 2 is the weakest entry in the series (certainly the dourest), it still manages to close the franchise well enough to warrant a trip to your local theater.
That being said, the reason I think this film is the weakest in the series is because it shouldn’t really exist in the first place. By splitting the last book into two films, the closing chapter in this story doesn’t have a whole lot to do except mope around and get Katniss into the Capital to dispense some justice. Sure, there’s that whole love triangle nonsense between Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) to resolve (not that the conclusion was ever in doubt), but other than that the film’s narrative feels stretched out. A little tired after the earlier more entertaining installments, and ready to lock up, turn out the lights, and shut this dystopian money-making machine down.
If you’ve enjoyed the other entries in this series, I expect you’ll be happy with this film. If you haven’t seen the other films in this franchise, then don’t bother with this until you do. Mockingjay Part 2 is rated PG-13 for some intense scenes of sci-fi violence.
Once the first film delivered massive box office results, the rest of the series has benefited from increased budgets, and better production values. This film is best enjoyed in a theater.
Best Moment: << mild spoiler >>
Our heroes make it into the Capital, and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) sets his monsters on them. A cross between the Xenomorph from Alien and a Zombie. The resulting chase/fight in the sewers beneath Panem is really well put together, and certainly the most thrilling moment in the movie.