The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Mockingjay_Part_2_Poster

Picture Courtesy of Lionsgate

The Hunger Games series come to an end with this action packed finale.  We have been waiting for this moment ever since 2012 when the first Hunger Games film hit theatres and exploded in popularity.  For those who hadn’t read the books, ran out in flocks to collect them and read them.  Despite the never ending battle of book vs film, there is nothing more exciting for a reader than the moment they announce a film will be made of a book you love.

The post Twilight/Harry Potter popular move of turning the final film into two parts extended our wait but for good reason.  When a book turned film is turned into two parts you can expect that more time has been given to get things right and generally all the boring stuff is taken care of in the first film to make way for an epic finale.

Katniss is struggling with her recovery after making it out of the capital and rescuing Peeta.  Although she is injured, her struggle does not lie with herself but with Peeta.  Peeta has been brainwashed by President Snow into thinking that Katniss is the enemy.  The reason people are dying is because of her.  With Snow’s endless vengeance to break Katniss, he manages to use her own boyfriend against her.  The one who once loved her is now trying to kill her.

War rages on and the rebels make their way closer and closer to the Capital, but with sadistic game makers with years of experience making torture devices, the city is riddled in these booby traps.  These were the most complicated things when reading Mockingjay, and as I’ve said since the beginning, I had no idea how they would make it work, but they did.  Instead of advanced pods or cubes, they created censored deathtraps that gave the same effect but without complications.  The second complicated addition to the finale film would be that of the mutts.  Now these mutts were featured in the first film, but it seems the producers wanted to vamp things up a bit.  Instead of looking like dogs, they went with the naked Dementors look.

Part 2 is meant to have the most action to form the epic finale and yet I am left with some conflicted feelings.  Emotions are high, death traps are absolutely everywhere mixed with the knowledge that the saga is coming to and end and we aren’t quite sure if we are ready for it.  Despite all this, do I dare say that Mockingjay Part 2 was almost anti-climactic?  I felt like we were on a kids track ride where seatbelt are not needed because we will simply be bumping along and watching the animatronics play out the story.  There were two points in the film that spiked my interest and got me excited, one being the obvious kill (which I won’t go into further detail for the odd ones reading this who haven’t seen the movie and don’t know what I’m referring to.  I like to have my reviews fairly spoiler free, unless the film is not worth your time.)  The second thing that got my attention is something not as obvious, rather low key but unexpected.  The character of Tigris is a shop keeper who plays a rather small role in the film but makes the most impact visually even giving Effie a run for her money.  Tigris’ skin is painted as a tiger and has the body modification to make her facial features more feline, including the whisper implants.  This is something I pictured to be more prominent in the Capital as the people are supposed to be more over the top.  The Capital wasn’t something I focused much on while reading, but readily became my favourite parts about the films.  The over the top clothes and visuals were something I had hoped would catch on and become more of a trend than it did, but such is life.

With only days left in shooting when the sudden and unexpected death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Plutarch, stunned fans.  Unsure of what would happen and how much was left out, his character managed to make it right to the bitter end with only one major scene having to be replaced.  A scene where Plutarch would make a final heartfelt speech to Katniss before he fled the Capital.  The producers skirted this scene by having Haymitch deliver and read a letter to Katniss from Plutarch.  Perhaps there might have been something if I sat long enough through the credits but I must admit I was a bit shocked not to see a “In Loving Memory” follow the end title.

The Hunger Games were an amazing book series that captivated audiences of all ages.  Based on a cruel and rather disturbing concept, Suzanne Collins managed to make an epic adventure of children killing each other in a ring to enforce peace, but we somehow managed to overlook this to be able to enjoy the characters and the story that played out.

Catching Fire and the Hunger Games are by far my favourite films of the series in that order, followed by Part 2 of Mockingjay and Part 1 coming in last.  There have been quite a few raving reviews for the amazing finale of the Hunger Games series but I must not be as easily impressed as the film was just alright for me.  Of course I will still suggest you must read the series and see the films, but perhaps don’t set your expectations so high for the finale.

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