In under the wire. So all the cards have been laid on the table, and it is time for a showdown. All of the rebels have rallied behind Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and have started to make their way to the Capitol to take down President Snow (Donald Sutherland) once and for all. I’ve been over these YA movies for a while now. I don’t care what’s happening in the Divergent series, The Maze Runner has lost its footing, and I said it when the first Mockingjay came out: there was no good reason to split this into two movies. The only time when a split was actually required was with Harry Potter, and that was solely because they had such an extensive amount of material to cover. Every single series that has split the final movie since has done it for one reason and one reason only: to squeeze as much money from the public as possible. Much like the Deathly Hallows, the second part of Mockingjay is much more action oriented to the first story’s setup, only there’s way too much padding when you look at both movies as a whole.
It’s all about coming up with a quick plan and executing it.
It’s really reached a point where the stories of this and all of the imitators have blurred together into this gray paste that lacks any distinguishing features. It’s a dirty dystopian future where the youthful and beautiful oppressed have to rise up and take down some sort of tyrannical dictator who practices evil for evil’s sake. I just described three different successful franchises in one sentence, so you must see where I’m coming from. The Hunger Games is easily the best of them, so if you’ve come this far, you might as well come back for the last of the fireworks, but the other knockoff series do have to come up with some seriously fresh ideas if they want to avoid the saturation point from becoming even worse. It also must be said that if you’ve watched any of these other series, it kind of taints any goodwill that you may have had going in.
I liked this, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t glad that this is over.
Jennifer Lawrence is America’s sweetheart and a talented actress. She gives a satisfying final performance as the strongest female protagonist we’ve seen in years, and when she has to deliver an important speech, you can totally see why this girl is such a big deal. Still, not much happened in part one, and even here, there were spots that this could have been trimmed down, and there is no reason why this couldn’t have been combined to make a 150-165 minute single feature. Mockingjay is easily the weakest book in the series, and The Hunger Games quite frankly peaked with Catching Fire. This type of movie does have a pattern, and despite my qualms, I’m still giving this a low recommendation because this was not without its moments, but my patience is dangerously close to expiring with all of the other off-brand franchises.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015) ***1/2
– Critic for Hire