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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (2015) Review

By   Nov 19, 2015 04:50 PM EST

For the last in a series, it could have been better but it could have been worse too.  Of the four films, it wasn’t my favorite but it certainly was better than Mocking jay Part I.

Suzanne Collins' journey, which began with the publication of The Hunger Games in 2010, is coming to its glorious conclusion this week with the release of the fourth movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II.  Our love affair with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence; American Hustle) is about to come to a close, and I'm sure many fans are disappointed to see it all end.  Luckily, this ending will make all those fans proud and probably live up to the expectations generated from the beginning.

With the survival of District 13 and the successful retrieval of Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson; The Kids Are All Right), the rebels are now setting their sights on destroying the capital and President Snow.  Katniss, angry with all she and Peeta have endured at Snow's hands, is willing to be the face of the rebellion and fight alongside the others.  She is, however, suspicious of President Coin (Julianne Moore, Still Alice) and her intention for the liberated districts.  Likewise, Coin uses Katniss to spark the flames of rebellion but feels Katniss is too volatile to have around long term.

As the rebels use inhumane means to overpower district two and eventually move into the Capitol, Katniss struggles with her own beliefs and her emotions towards Gale (Liam Hemsworth; Love and Honor) and a brainwashed Peeta.  Navigating the booby-trapped streets of the Capitol, Katniss loses members of her team and must examine her own thoughts regarding Coin, the rebellion, Gale and Peeta.  Ultimately (for those who haven't read the books), the Rebels win and Katniss gets exactly what she wants but with great loss of innocent lives.

Lawrence, once again, does a very good job portraying the determined, strong-willed, Katniss.  Casting her was a smart move on the part of the production team, as she embodies exactly how I envisioned the lead character when I read the books.  Hutcherson is decent as Peeta but I never really felt the chemistry between him and Lawrence, and I'm not sure if a different actor might not have been a better choice.  Hemsworth, Moore, Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect) as Effie, Woody Harrelson (Zombieland) as Haymitch, and Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job) as President Snow all reprise their roles from the previous films and there is a reason these actors were chosen.   There were several bittersweet moments when Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) was on screen – a reminder of a young talent lost too soon.

Overall, the film was entertaining and moved faster than Mockingjay Part I, but there were times it seemed a little disjointed and frantic and got a little "preachy" more than once.  Monologues by Katniss, Snow and Coin were cheesy.  It did, however, stay mostly true to the book, which will leave purists happy.

Teens and young adults will surely flock to the film in droves, as it has massive box office appeal and they will get their money's worth.  For the last in a series, it could have been better, but it could have been worse too.  Of the four films, it wasn't my favorite, but it certainly was better than Mockingjay Part I.  If you have been following the saga, you need to see the end. If you haven't watched the movies or read the books you would be lost so don't bother.

Grade: B-

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