GameStop, Inc.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review!

Jondee here at the Capitol,

HT_jennifer_lawrence_hunger_games_jt_150609_16x9_992

The final Hunger Games film has entered the arena of fall films and it is a sobering look at the cost of war where there are no heroes or villains. Jennifer Lawrence is central to the films as Katniss Everdeen and the last book split into two movies works here. There is a distinct character arc for Katniss; she goes from willing spokesperson of District 13 (anything to get revenge on President Snow) to realizing the price of war. Katniss has survived the 75th Hunger Games in the first film and she is thrown into the games again in the Quarter Quell in the brilliant second film. Katniss is taken to District 13, a hidden refuge for those opposing the Capitol and finds that she is the figurehead for the revolution. In Mockingjay Part 1, Katniss is part of the team that infiltrates the Capitol to free fellow victor, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and shockingly it ends with the brainwashed Peeta trying to strangle Katniss. I read the first two Hunger Games books, but wanted to see how the other films spoke for themselves. The film reminded me a bit of the revolution from another sci fi film, V for Vendetta (2005) which also had the people gather witnessing the fall of their government, the Vox populi.

mockingjay-02

HG:MP2 opens with a doctor checking on Katniss’ bruised neck and has her say her name. She recovers enough to get a meeting with the head of District 13, President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the former Gamemaker. They send in someone who is connected to Katniss, her sister, Prim (Willow Shields) to check on Peeta. At first, he seems recovering, but it becomes clear with his arc that he is suffering from PTSD, not something he can shrug off, but has to constantly fight. Well done Hutcherson! She is taunted by fellow arena survivor, Johanna (Jena Malone). Some time has passed since we can see the bruise is nearly healed and Katniss is sent to rally the troops in District 2 which is located in the Rocky Mountains. On the hovercraft, Katniss kisses her longtime friend from her district, Gale (Liam Hemsworth). He says that the kiss was like she was drunk. His arc is not only to deal with her friend zone, dealing with his rival Peeta, but also his dedication to the revolution. Gwendoline Christie (who is the standout in strong female roles this year, Captain Phasma) argues with Coin with taking the weapons depot in the mountains. Gale plans for bombs to cause landslides sealing everyone inside, the bombs are created by tech genius Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) now in a wheelchair. Katniss is angry that there are civilians in there. Commander Paylor (Patina Miller) gives a rousing speech about the uniting all of the districts, the Capitol is next.

gwendoline

Katniss goes to meet with the civilians on the train, by her side is Boggs (Mahershala Ali), a soldier who is her protector. She walks out and one of the survivors holds a gun to her throat. Katniss surrenders to him and doesn’t care about dying because she’s tired of being used by President Snow. Still, she is shot and falls, this is recorded by Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and her propo team. President Coin (Donald Sutherland) at his mansion has a drink with his assembled officials including the failed commander who is poisoned. He figures out that Katniss is still alive and it is interesting to see his grasp of the changing political situation. President Coin has Katniss stay at District 13 during the assault of the Capitol. Katniss meets again with Peeta and she has to leave at his rant about her manipulation. There is a nice moment with the wedding of Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Annie (Stef Dawson), both arena survivors. Johanna taunts Katniss, but arranges for her to slip on board a supply hovercraft. Katniss goes out to dance and ends up holding Prim, she has resigned herself to killing Snow. Once Katniss is revealed to the assembled troops, Snow agrees with Heavensbee that that was their plan all along. She is assigned to the squad led by Lieutenant Jackson, played by genre vet, Michelle Forbes, who I most remembered as Miranda Zero in the Global Frequency pilot.

Die Tribute von Panem - Mockingjay Teil 2

They are informed that President Snow has set Pods, traps, around the Capitol, Finnick says, “Welcome to the 77th Hunger Games.” Boggs has a Holo that will enable the squad to detect some of the Pods. It is keyed to himself and he later tells Katniss that Snow sent Peeta to the squad to finish her. Peeta is restrained and in a Hunger Games environment, he becomes violent and confused, he admits to the squad he can’t tell what is real, Jackson says just to ask them. His “Real or not real” runs throughout the rest of the film. Boggs is is wounded by an explosive and transfers the Holo to Katniss. The squad gets past automatic gun mounts, but the square they are in is sealed and a Pod releases black tar that dissolves flesh! Peeta kills one of the squad and the team manages to get into a building. The tar recedes from the building and two members are left behind since one is wounded. The Capitol troops blow up the building. Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), the announcer for the Hunger Games, reports that Katniss and the squad were killed. At an apartment, the squad has broken into, they rest and find that President Snow makes an announcement about the assault. The squad knows that he is at his mansion in the Capitol. The film deals with some complex issues of characters and war, it seems uncompromised from the books, basically the cost of war has made Katniss and Peeta broken people, Peeta runs off the list of the people who have died on the assault and in the arena. There is some long exposition, a tense and chaotic action scene in the sewers, and an epilogue that shows the survivors of war. If you are ready for such a bold vision to wrap up the Hunger Games films, this is your movie! Four Mockingjay pins out of Five!