Cert: 12A Runtime: 137 mins Director: Francie Lawrence Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks and Donald Sutherland
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the seventy-sixth Hunger Games
It’s the end of the road for the teen political melodrama The Hunger Games franchise is no more! After my sheer enjoyment of The Hunger Games, disappointment of Catching Fire and a shock political twist of Mockingjay Part I. I was ready for this old girl to go an graze in greener pastures. The sub-plot and themes are what make the franchise interesting and not much focus on the love triangle that we have seen. So what is Mockingjay Part II about? Realizing the stakes are no longer just for survival, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) teams up with her closest friends, including Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Finnick for the ultimate mission. Together, they leave District 13 to liberate the citizens of war-torn Panem and assassinate President Snow, who’s obsessed with destroying Katniss. What lies ahead are mortal traps, dangerous enemies and moral choices that will ultimately determine the future of millions.
Mockingjay Part II was always going to be action packed and full of suspense very different to the slow burn of Part I. The final part of a film doesn’t require to be two parts, but studios want our hard earned money.Francis Lawrence, who has directed all but the first film of the franchise, handles the action well and delivers a few sequences to get the adrenalin pumping, most notably a scene that finds Katniss and other members of the rebellion fighting a herd of white things. You knew it was coming but it was executed very well. The main issues are the beginning and the ending, it starts off rather dull and no real meaning and the ending is pure cheese. Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss will forever be remembered as one of the strongest female characters in cinema. But Mockingjay-Part II is one of Lawrence’s weakest performances in my opinion.
She shines one minute then the next she’s awful, one would imagine she was just ready to end this franchise to focus on the rest of her career. For me Woody Harellson’s Haymitch is my favourite of the franchise and there wasn’t enough of him. Hutcherson and Hemsworth were OK as always nothing worth noting. Donald Sutherland’s Snow was menacing all be it for 15 minutes. It was a shame this was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last film, but re-watching The Master will help. My negativity shouldn’t take away the powerful message of the film of a free democracy and the power of the people. It’s a great watch in my opinion but I did expect more. Overall The Hunger Games will stand the test of time as the best young persons book to film franchise. Twilight failed, Divergent failed and Maze Runner. But Katniss Everdeen will live long in the memory, may the odds ever be in your favour friends.