Review: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2
Last night my wife and I watched the conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy... which became four movies when it was translated to the big screen. I'm not sure if translating book trilogies into four movies, or single books into three, is a growing trend (looking at you Peter Jackson), but I do find something off-putting about it. On the one hand, it's nice to see books which might otherwise have important parts cut out of them get their due, as appears to be the case with the Hunger Games, but on the other it does sometimes seem like the Hollywood movie machine is just trying to milk more money from us ::cough:: The Hobbit ::cough::.
All of that aside, The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 was an enjoyable film. Though I can't say I was on the edge of my seat, I can say that the action sequences were well put together and easy to follow. The film also balanced action with the intrigue going on behind the scenes in a fluid way, which meant that there wasn't a moment during the movie I felt was slow or awkward. Despite all that it got right, however, it seemed to lack a vital energy. I often found myself routing for Finnick, or Cressida, or Pollux (probably due to Elden Henson's role as Foggy on Daredevil), and even Snow for a moment, rather than Katniss.
I'm aware that Katniss is not supposed to be 100% likable, it's one of her character flaws, but perhaps it was played up a bit too much in Mockingjay Part 2. This late in the game it would have been nice to see her show some character development rather than have the same-old icy Katniss. If anything, she seemed less likable in this movie than she has in the last. I'll confess, I haven't made it to Mockingjay in the books, but even if this is an accurate portrayal of Katniss in the last book, I think it would have brought more of an emotional hook to the movie to have her be more charismatic. There are plenty of examples of hard-boiled heroes with charisma out there (Riddick, Thomas Jane's Frank Castle, Yu Shu Lien from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and it would have made Mockingjay Part 2 better for Katniss to have followed that example—for the record, Jennifer Lawrence is a fantastic actor, so I don't blame her for this. It seems to have been a choice by either the director or the script.
So what's the verdict? Is Mockingjay Part 2 worth seeing?
It did bring the series to a somewhat satisfying conclusion, though the last scene seemed more awkward and unnecessary than not. So, yes, it is worth seeing, but don't expect a non-stop thrill ride or you'll be a bit disappointed.