So another mega-blockbuster franchise comes to an end.
The finale of ‘The Hunger Games’ arrives three-and-a-half years after the first installment was released to critical success and record-breaking box office grosses, not to mention a cultural euphoria rivaling those of ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’. ‘Mockingjay – Part 2’, on the other hand, arrives with little more than a whisper amidst the hype of the imminent ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. Yet there is a reason for this: ‘Mockingjay – Part 2’ like ‘Part 1’ before it, and the book they are based on, just can’t satisfyingly resolve a story that peaked with its second movie and, as a result, much of it ceases to be interesting.
As the rebellion against the Capitol pushes forwards, Katniss must push into its very heart to defeat President Snow, while the city itself is transformed into an arena of its own teeming with traps of all kinds of horrors.
Jennifer Lawrence was always perfectly cast as Katniss and the same is no different here. She brings ferocity when it is needed yet can quickly transition to grief or defeat as she shows Katniss’ true nature, away from being the Mockingjay in front of the cameras.
‘Part 2’ is a surprisingly slow film, which allows the themes underlying the entire franchise to be carried through right up to the climax. The problem is the climax itself is lacking. It is anticlimactic. The most exciting scene in the film occurs an hour before the credits roll and when the resolution does finally happen, it drags on far too long, far too quietly. Anyone who has read the source material will say that the problem was in the books first but then it’s the film’s fault for sticking too closely to ‘Mockingjay’. It’s not all bad- it’s certainly not the train wreck of excess climax that was ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ – it’s simply disappointing.
The middle portion of the film, set in the streets of the Capitol littered with ‘pods’, the aforementioned traps, offers some suspenseful moments and intense action, yet it’s the climax that makes or breaks a film.
While ‘Part 1’ could be forgiven for ending with a whimper, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ needed a bang and it simply wasn’t big enough. Unfortunately, what should have been a great franchise will ultimately be remembered as merely a good one.
READ: Daniel’s Review