Tuesday 17th November, I went to the Mockingjay marathon!! I was pretty excited for the second part since I thought part 1 didn’t match my expectations. It was kind the experience with a quiz to start with. The quiz was a nice touch the evening, but I just wanted to watch the films! So here we go.
The first part of the Mockingjay was all about preparing the revolution, but in this film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2, it’s time for some action. After Katniss Everdeen, leader of the rebellion and face of the revolution, sees what the Capitol has done to her good friend Peeta Mellark, she unites the districts and prepares for war. Against the wishes of President Coin, Katniss goes to District 2 where she joins a military unit led by Boggs. Along with some old friends she goes to war against the Capitol and its sadistic President Snow. During their mission they need to face some threats, Katniss is being tested and she has to decide who she can trust.
In this fourth and final chapter of The Hunger Games franchise, the familiar actors represent their characters for the last time. Jennifer Lawrence has really grown into her character Katniss Everdeen since the past few years, and we really got to know her character. Katniss has been through a lot after she volunteered for her younger sister Primrose and the Games have changed Katniss. But because of her presence at the Games she gave the districts of Panem hope and the courage to fight against the Capitol. In this final chapter, Lawrence plays this young woman very well. who is traumatized but nevertheless not afraid to fight and make some important decisions. Josh Hutcherson is back as Peeta Mellark, the one who fought beside Katniss in the Arena, bot got under the influence of the Capitol and is therefore a danger to Katniss. Hutcherson show the effect the Capitol had on his character: Peeta is constantly afraid. Afraid of what he could do and because he doesn’t know what’s real or just an illusion created by the Capitol.
The man who was part of Peeta’s rescue mission is Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth. In the previous film Gale made some comments which didn’t give him much credit. This time his character traits shows even better that Gale doesn’t really understand the meaning of violence. He has strong feelings for Katniss and therefore sees Peeta – aside his condition – as a huge threat. Hemsworth shows how his character struggles with the whole situation, but he loses all sympathy because of his secret plans whereof the outcome is unforgivable. His character is also the most negligible one. Besides Gale and Peeta, during her mission Katniss gets help from Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) and Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and her film crew. They all contribute to the mission, but are always subordinate to Katniss, Gale and – in some extent – Peeta. Claflin finally shows how his character could have won The Hunger Games in the first place, his fight against the mutts in the sewer is one you’ll never forget. The character Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) are also back, but because of the action to a lesser extent. Both do have one or two amazing scenes, like the farewell between Effie and Haymitch and the moments between Haymitch and Katniss.
The two most important characters from District 13 are game maker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and President Alma Coin, who is portrayed very strongly by Julianne Moore. The previous film showed a very sympathetic woman, but from the beginning of Part 2 her character starts showing cracks in her ‘benign’ character. Who is this woman with a hidden agenda and what is she up to? Hoffman’s character Plutarch doesn’t has much screen time – which has everything to do with his sudden death – but eventually we learn that he is in fact the best game maker ever. He knows in advance what will happen and responds to it in a very clever way. Where TV host Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), won the prize for the best laugh in the first two films, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) definitely win this time! His final scene is truly brilliant and pretty violent as well. He who laughs last, definitely laughs best.
The majority of the victims are always in a franchise’s final chapter. However these endings are this time never that tragic. They are often predictable, or the dramatic event happens so fast you barely get the chance to anticipate. Without spoiling too much, there’s at least one character who deserved a way better ending. The entire film was fairly predictable. After three films you know Katniss and therefore her actions are quite obvious. Also, at the start of the film we already learn that someone can’t be trusted and has different plans regarding Katniss. Therefore the ending of this character is predictable as well. Despite this predictability there are some exciting scene which may cause some frights. De scene in the sewer is definitely the best one, which is very nerve-racking. Because this is the final part in the franchise, it’s only logic the writers are working towards an end: the end of the Capitol. President’s Snow surrender came a bit out of the blue and it’s unclear what was happening and who was after it and with what intent. Therefore this moment provides some plot twist.
In the field of action and spectacle, the film is better than the first part. However this film – which is supposed to be a an epic final – never surpasses the first and second film in the franchise. Partly because it’s most of the tim,e quite predictable and the dramatic moments are never that tragic or touching, like the scene with Rue and Prime was in The Hunger Games. Also the games itself were more fascinating than the political intrigues. Mockingjay part 2 does have some amazing action scenes and the actors portray their roles very well, but the franchise deserved a more epic ending. Also Katniss, the Mockingjay and face of the revolution, deserved much more credit. The 3D effects are there but it doesn’t add much value to the story. The soundtrack on the other hand – composed by James Newton Howard – of indispensable value and definitely gives the film something extra.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 is a worthy end of a popular film series. It is however not the epic final it deserved and it also never surpasses the first two films. There’s a lot of action, but the story and Katniss’ actions are predictable. Whenever a moment isn’t, the moment is over before you know it and is therefore never surprising or emotional. The actors all gave a great performance, but some deserved a better ending in this final chapter. Director Francis Lawrence might have made an end to this franchise, there are rumours about another sequel / spinoff franchise! Something to look forward to?