The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Three years ago moviegoers were introduced to the girl who would eventually ignite the flame of revolution. In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, we witness that revolution as the armies of every district unite to overthrow President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the Capital.
Mockingjay Part 2 begins right where Part 1 ends. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is trying to reclaim her voice after Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) nearly crushed her windpipe. In order to continue inspiring the troops, Katniss suggests she go to District 2 in an effort to cripple the Capital, further. President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) eventually agree, sparking the Capital to begin preparations to defend their great city by making it into an urban Hunger Games. A city where Katniss, Gale (Liam Hemsworth), and their troops would ultimately find themselves as the battle comes to a head.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is one of the most accurate book to films in recent memory. Part 1 did a great job as well, but Part 2 really incorporated all the action, drama, and tragedy that the book provides. The only thing is that Effie (Elizabeth Banks) wasn’t in book 3 but that’s neither here nor there. The way the director (Francis Lawrence) was able to capture the warzone of the Capital was captivating. They were able to transform a once vibrant city into a war torn pile of ash and rubble. As an added effect, the introduction of the traps, some from the book some not, made for an entertaining battle through the capital.
What I’ve always enjoyed about these books to films is that, they’ve always followed the events from the books to a T. Even the scenes that are added are meant to accentuate the story. Nothing takes away from the overall plot of the movie. However, this might be one of the few times that I wished they had altered a bit of the story from the book. Surprisingly, that’s my biggest knock on the movie, that it followed the book a little too close.
You might be thinking, “That’s an absurd statement.” Well let me explain. I absolutely loved the Hunger Games book series. The first one was fantastic, the second was even better. However, the third one was always my least favorite. It’s not the revolution wasn’t well done, it was. It’s that there are so many deaths in the book and they all happen so fast. They never let you mourn the characters as they lose their life. Furthermore, they happen so quick, it almost feels unnecessary. Almost like the author, Suzanne Collins, needed a little more oomph so she killed off characters hoping to force an emotional reaction. However, the process in which these deaths occur happen so swiftly, you’re forced to re-read it just because it’s too quick to process it. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 follows this same sequence of events as accurate as it could possibly be and that’s a shame. We’ve spent the last three years following these characters. Then, to kill some of them in the blink of an eye, feels like an injustice to not only the reader but also to the audience. I hoped that the movie version would expand a little more. The odds weren’t in our favor, this time.
On a brighter note, Mockingjay Part 2 does a beautiful job capturing all the emotion. The Hunger Games series was always meant to be a tragedy. Jennifer Lawrence makes the perfect conduit for those feelings. As the character of Katniss, Lawrence portrays a very introverted soldier who is forced into everything with one choice to be in the Hunger Games instead of her little sister, Prim. This one act of heroism spawns a chain of events that will eventually lead to the fall of the corrupt system which governs the districts. It also puts Everdeen on the path toward her own private hell. In Part 2, we witness Everdeen at her worst, her breaking point. Lawrence delivers a performance true to her title of Academy Award Winner.
Overall, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 provides much needed closure to the unforgiving franchise. That isn’t to say most will be satisfied by the ending. However, it does a decent job of tying up all its loose ends. It pales in comparison to that of Catching Fire or the self entitled Hunger Games movie but it’s better than Part 1 of Mockingjay. Part 2 should be seen by all those who loved the series. For all who haven’t seen the movies or read the books, read the books first. They’re an easy read, plus you’ll truly be able to understand the tumultuous world as seen through the eyes of Katniss Everdeen. They’ll give you a better appreciation for the movies, as well. Enjoy Mockingjay Part 2 and savor it. For odds are, we won’t be experiencing any more Games, in the near future.