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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review

I’m a big fan of the first three Hunger Games. They are some of the best book to movie adaptation out there, and I was really looking forward to see how this movie tied everything up. I’ve read all the books, and I was a bit worried since the third one is my least favorite, and it has been split into two movies. My worst fear has been realized, for this is a disappointing movie and it pains me to say that.

The story follows Katniss Everdeen, who is making one last standoff against President Snow and the Capitol, in order to free the world of Panem.

As a technical standpoint, Mockingjay Part 2 is a well-made film that has great acting and beautiful cinematography—but the problem lies with the story, which could have been clearly condensed into one film. The first hour is painfully slow, and could have removed entirely. It contains nothing but boring conversations about stuff that we already know, that was already explained in part 1 and comes across as exposition. The plot meanders into nothingness and it feels like the movie—or this whole series is wasting your time. Boy do they drag some scenes in this film. Some of them go on and on.

The characters also make some stupid decisions, that doesn’t make any sense. The crew arrive a the capitol, and they check once for traps, and that’s it. They never bother to be more careful ever again, and it’s just stupid since they are in enemy territory and the place is rigged with traps.

The movie picks up in it’s second half, but the pacing continues to drag. The film has maybe three action scenes, two of them are cut short and one of them feels out of place—as if it belongs in a science-fiction movie (it felt like a scene right out of this year’s The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials). It was in the book, and even then I felt it didn’t belong there. As a matter of fact, this movie is a good adaptation to its source material but some things should have been left on the page. They simply didn’t belong in this movie. The film is almost too faithful to its source material, which brings me to my next point.

This film should have not have been split into two movies. When will the studios learn? Splitting the film into two parts rarely is necessary, unless you have a thousand page novel like The Stand by Stephen King, which should be split in three movies. The only time it has worked was with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which was a satisfying conclusion to a great saga. If Part 1 and Part 2 had only been one film, then the pacing would have been better, the ending way more satisfying and a better movie overall. Frances Lawrence does an all right job directing this film, but the movie drags and drags.

This is also a very predictable movie; there are very few surprises and very little pay-offs as well. It’s very uneventful for a final chapter to a series. There are some things that happen, but the majority are glossed over and have no weight to them. There’s also no hope or humor (which was largely provived by Woody Harrelson’s character Haymitch) like in the other Hunger Games movies. The tone is grim throughout and it isn’t as enjoyable to watch as the other films of the series. It’s a very depressing movie.

This is not a horrible movie by any means. It’s watchable and there are some exciting scenes throughout; it’s just a disappointing one compared to the previous instalments that came before it.

Jennifer Lawrence is good as Katniss Everdeen, but she has now become an unlikable character. She is devoid of emotion, and it almost feels like she’s become a robot.

Josh Hutcherson is also decent as Peeta and his character arc is probably the most interesting since he has to rediscover his humanity after what happened to him in Part 1.

Donald Sutherland as President Snow is still menacing and ruthless. As already mentioned, the acting is not the problem. It’s the pacing and the story, which was what was the most disappointing.

The ending is the one saving grace to this movie, and the way it wraps up is satisfying, but again too long. It could have been shortened and better handled.

Overall, The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 2 is a disappointing conclusion to a great franchise and is bogged down by slow pacing, an enormous lack of action scenes and could have easily been better if it had been one film instead of two.

 

Rating: C+

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