HOLLYWOOD—Now this is what I’ve been waiting for. Back in 2012, when the first installment of “The Hunger Games” franchise arrived, it sent ripples at the box-office. The second chapter of the franchise, “Catching Fire,” further established the inner workings of the government and their prowess in continuing the games. “Mockingjay – Part 1” set the stage for an epic finale, with a cliffhanger featuring Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) being brainwashed to kill Katniss. So have I caught you up? Good, because “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay –Part 2” wraps up the beloved franchise.
Jennifer Lawrence returns as our hero Katniss Everdeen. It’s sometimes difficult to equate Lawrence with such a character considering her bevy of work in the recent years from “Winter’s Bone” to “Silver Linings Playbook,” but it works. The actress brings a level of strength and emotion to a character that instantly connects with the viewers in my opinion. I think the narrative is extremely poignant to place a female in such a heroic role.
“Mockingjay – Part 2” picks up precisely where the last installment ends with the nation of Panem in complete war. Katniss and her gang have made it their mission to attack President Snow (Donald Sutherland) at the Capitol. Sutherland is phenomenal in the villainous role. Just looking at the guy delivers shivers. Why? Well he can deliver a look that says “if you cross me you will pay dearly for your betrayal.”
Assisting in Katniss’ quest are Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Finnick (Sam Claflin) and a host of others. With this being the final hoorah, audiences should expect some iconic characters to meet their demise along the way, however, I refrain from acknowledging who will and who will not survive to the end. While all of the films in the franchise had delivered on the action-front, “Mockingjay – Part 2” really amps up the stunts, the visual effect and the fight sequences in a way that will leave fans of the book series and fans of action flicks in absolute heaven.
With an esteemed cast including the likes of Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright and Stanley Tucci this movie doesn’t just excel on storytelling, but the acting is stellar as well. Each actor heightens the performance of their counterparts with those intense scenes, as well as those tender moments as well. It doesn’t hurt to see the rivalry between Snow and Alma Coin (Moore) reach a feverish pitch. Two great actors doing what they do best.
While the movie has a lot of fantasy elements sprinkled throughout, the constant theme of a totalitarian government oppressing its people is something that many viewers will connect with. While the notion of democracy is pivotal in America, that sentiment isn’t always echoed in other parts of the world. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay –Part 2” shares the fear of what can happen to a nation when a government leader has all the power and chooses to implement such atrocities for his own personal gain and to prevent any anarchy or revolution.
It can be argued that the movie runs a bit longer than it needs to be, “The Hunger Games” ends on a climatic note that will indeed satisfy those who have enjoyed watching a character who showed her nation that sitting back and allowing the government to control their lives is not an answer. While war is never a pretty thing, the movie proves sometimes it’s the only answer to implement change.