Time: 137 Minutes
Age Rating: M – Violence, horror scenes & content may disturb
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
Jeffrey Wright as Beetee
Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
Donald Sutherland as President Snow
Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen
Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair
Jena Malone as Johanna Mason
Mahershala Ali as Boggs
Natalie Dormer as Cressida
Director: Francis Lawrence
After realising that she is no longer fighting for survival, Katniss Everdeen sets out to assassinate the tyrannical President Snow and liberate the people of Panem.
After the rather underwhelming Mocking Part 1, we finally get into the conclusion of The Hunger Games saga. I can gather a general consensus on each of the movies, The Hunger Games is generally well received, Catching Fire is loved and known as the best of the movies, and Mockingjay Part 1 has a more mixed reception and generally known as the worst. However, the reactions to Mockingjay Part 2 are a little all over the place. While it has its issues, I still like the movie overall.
For what it’s worth, I think Part 2 is best seen back to back with Part 1. Part 2 does a good job at making everything feel dramatic and big, and translates the bleaker moments from the book. The stakes are high; the already dark story gets even darker, plenty of named characters die, and it shows the consequences of war. I was engaged with the story a lot more than I was with Part 1. The middle act is the strongest part of the movie with some really tense action sequences. There are also some great moments in the third act, but some of the resolution felt a little rushed, despite the story being split into two parts. The ending was somewhat anticlimactic, but that’s unfortunately the nature of the book too. Some of the pacing is a little weak and it has some of that Mockingjay Part 1 issue of having scenes stretched out longer than they needed to be. Despite the issues, I found Mockingjay Part 2 a satisfying enough conclusion.
Once again, there are some great performances, with Jennifer Lawrence delivering as usual and Josh Hutcherson doing some great work and having much more screentime compared to the last movie. Those two are essentially the leads of the film, and they do very well in their parts. The supporting cast in Woody Harrelson, Jeffrey Wright, Mahershala Ali, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Dormer, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone give commendable performances, but most of them are a little under-utilised and sidelined, more so than in Part 1. That being said, Sutherland as main villain President Snow is still a standout in his scenes.
Francis Lawrence’s direction is pretty strong once again, and has a great handle on the movie. There’s some great imagery and cinematography, a good mix of solid practical and CGI effects, and some tense and large action sequences.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 again suffers from the choice of splitting the last book into two, and despite the amount of time given to the story, the conclusion still felt a little rushed and anticlimactic. It isn’t 100% satisfying, but is still pretty good, and benefits from the strong direction and performances. It’s at least better than Part 1 and potentially even better than the first Hunger Games. Catching Fire might be the only really great movie in the Hunger Games quadrilogy, but I liked the movies overall.