The Hunger Games franchise has followed the journey of a young girl into womanhood as well as the rise of a nation, and the final installment, Mockingjay Part 2, is a solid representation of the source material, as well as a great closing act to an emotional journey.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 wraps up the story of Katniss Everdeen and the rebellion of the citizens of Panem against the Capitol. The film picks up immediately after the events of Mockingjay Part 1 and follows Katniss and her team of soldiers as they head to the Capitol to take on President Snow face-to-face. Along the way they’re faced with deadly obstacles that basically turn the entire city into yet another Hunger Games, and they also realize that the lines between good and evil aren’t as clear as they thought when they set out.
The plot remained about as close to the books as fans of the Suzanne Collins novels would hope. There were plenty of emotional losses, memorable characters and internal struggles along the road to rebuild Panem. We also got to see more of the Capitol, from the insides of a luxurious apartment to the dark, dank tunnels beneath the city. The movie was filmed in Atlanta, and the city (with some CGI magic of course) provided a setting that was equal parts beautiful and unsettling.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth once again brought their A games to the screen. Lawrence has done a beautiful job of bringing a little growth to Katniss with each film, and both the actress and the character shine in the final movie. Hutcherson showed range as he gradually reverted back from crazy Capitol Peeta into kind painter Peeta. Hemsworth was solid as Gale, whose exit will leave audiences just as emotionally conflicted as it did in the books.
The large and talented supporting cast gave plenty of memorable performances as well, from Jenna Malone as the strong and snarky Johanna, to Julianne Moore’s sly President Coin (and it’s always fun to see Stanley Tucci pop up as the reprehensible (yet undeniably energetic) Caesar Flickerman).
My main gripe (which I’ll admit is pretty shallow) is the chemistry between Lawrence and Hutcherson still wasn’t really there. I hadn’t felt it during any of the other films either, but the only reason it didn’t kill the movie for me was because I didn’t feel much chemistry between Katniss and Peeta when I read the books either (please don’t kill me).
Overall, however I loved the strong finish to the series. If you’ve been following along this far, you won’t be disappointed; if you’re a fan of the book, you won’t be disappointed; and if you haven’t seen any of these movies yet…what are you waiting for?!
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is now in theaters.
Photo Credit: Lionsgate