Francis Lawrence directs the 2nd part to the Mockingjay films and the final part to The Hunger Games series as Katniss, District 13 and rebels across Panem team up to take on the Capitol and President Snow in a climactic showdown, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Mahershala Ali.
Mockingjay part 2 kicks off right where the previous film left off, a short while after the end of Part 1, with Peeta and Katniss seemingly now forever torn apart and things get off to a fairly slow start but once they get going, they really get going. What I think the film does well is combine some great drama and tense thrilling action, something that Part 1 just didn’t quite manage to do, being more of a slow moving drama that didn’t really go anywhere interesting.
The performances here are again on point and have been in general for the entire series, Jennifer Lawrence is in her element as Katniss again and boy has she been through a lot and by this film you just really feel for the girl but importantly, she’s shown progression as a character and has clearly matured, still being quite sentimental as she wants to protect everyone close to her but ultimately can’t. And as far as the supporting cast goes there are some notable performances, even Luke Hemsworth, I feel did a great job and was arguably at his best as Gale in the series, meanwhile Josh Hutcherson is again great as the confused and multi-dimensional Peeta, whose relationship with Katniss couldn’t be any more dysfunctional.
Impact, that’s something the film does well and with the stakes being at their highest in the series so far, you know that some characters may not make it and things get emotional and surprisingly so in fact with certain scenes )even though I knew they were coming as I’ve read the books) and this is a credit to how certain scenes are set up with tense, frenetic set pieces. And importantly, there’s a great flow between the action and the plot never sits around in one place for too long, resulting in it being a bit of a hectic roller coaster ride of traps, twists and turns and it’s great to watch, this is easily one of the most exciting films in The Hunger Games series if not the most exciting overall.
And even with all the action, the drama is also clearly evident, exploring war and its effect on people – namely Katniss who is in some pretty severe PTSD at this point, a surprisingly mature theme for a young adult film to tackle head on, while the allegory of modern voyeuristic culture and reality TV is ever present in the background as the Capitol and the Rebels both use the media as a tool at all stages as the war goes on. Also the more dramatic scenes are impactful and they work quite well involving characters that we’ve come to know and become fond of over the series as a whole. Mockingjay Part 2 is a really good film, shocking in points, emotional, thrilling and surprisingly multi-layered, a suitable (though possibly divisive) end to The Hunger Games series with some great set pieces, genuinely tense scenes and good performances.
. Tense, frenetic set pieces
. Great exploration of themes, used in tandem with the plot
. Well done dramatic, emotional moments