Hungry No More

After four movies, "The Girl on Fire's" flame has finally been extinguished with the grand finale of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. After last year's completely lackluster Part 1 (review HERE,) I went into Part 2 totally ready for this franchise to end. I didn't expect to derive much pleasure out of the film's proceedings, so my expectations were really low, if not nonexistent. Turns out, because of avoiding so much advertising and not caring one way or another how good the movie would be, I ended up enjoying Part 2 MUCH more than I anticipated. That's not to say though that the movie is without its flaws, it has quite a few. But those flaws are far more forgiving this time around than the last. Mostly because stuff actually happens this time.

Part 2 picks up right where Part 1 left off, as Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen struggles to understand what's happened to her friend and on-again/off-again boy toy Peeta. She holds one man responsible for turning her beloved into a rage-filled psychopath, and that's Donald Sutherland's President Scroob Snow. Despite orders from President Coin of the Rebel Alliance played by Julianne Moore (that's what they call it right? They just blatantly use all the Star Wars terminology right?) to stay put, Katniss takes it upon herself to sneak into the city and assassinate President Snow for the good of mankind. But before she can get to his mansion, she'll first have to beat all the booby traps that await her within the Capitol's walls. Luckily, she's got her two beaus and some other rebel soldiers to accompany her. The second half of the movie basically plays out like a much grander scale version of Duck Tales: The Movie.

While the film moves along briskly and entertainingly enough, the filmmakers make the mistake of putting too much focus on Katniss's love life, while failing to emphasize other moments that should have had more weight. Unfortunately for everyone besides fangirls, concentrating on the love triangle just isn't that interesting. A couple of important deaths are really glossed over, but at least Peeta and Gale can find the time to have a heart to heart on which one of them Katniss is going to pick right?  Lawrence is tasked with carrying the film while most of her talented supporting cast are sidelined to glorified cameos. Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks and Jena Malone who were all great in the previous movies only really get a couple scenes a piece to make their mark. Much of the film is very bleak, but at least things are *happening* this time around. In fact, the most unfortunate thing about this movie is the fact that its story was ever split in half. Catching Fire easily remains the best out of the series, but had Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2 been combined as the book intended, this absolutely could have been the strongest entry. As it is, the series ends with little fanfare, and the scene they tack on at the end to act as the Harry Potter-eque epilogue is kind of atrocious.

For what has been a very uneven series, this installment definitely ends the series on more of a high than a low--even if it's kind of a depressing high. Now if only we didn't have to deal with all the repercussions of the mega-success of this franchise with all the other Young Adult series adaptations we have yet to sit through (and their inevitable Part Two conclusions.) Sigh. EMILY RATING: 7/10


Sarah said...

These post apocalyptic type movies really aren't my thing. Can't everyone just play nice with each other? 😀

Sarah said...

Those question marks are supposed to be a smiley face. Or maybe the smiley face shows up for you. I won't use emojis in my comments anymore!

Johanna said...

I didn't see the first, second, third, and now won't see the 4th. But loved your review and if it's at all like Duck Tails the Movie, the only fun part of that one was watching you kids watching the movie. You are so funny!