In this continuation of the final book in the “Hunger Games” series, we find Katniss immediately dealing with the physical and emotional scars inflicted upon her, by her love, confidant and friend Peeta; now brainwashed by President Snow. Meanwhile, rebel organizer Coin and PR mastermind Plutarch (played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) pushes Katniss to continue her duty as the face of the revolution and send a message to the rebels. After Coin launches a particularly heavy handed attack on District 2, Katniss is placed on the front line of fleeing citizens to deliver a propaganda broadcast, and it immediately backfires with an attack on her life, as well as her surrounding squad. During recovery; back in District 13, Katniss hatches a plan to go her own way and take out Snow by any means necessary. Stowing away on a medical ship bound for District 2, Katniss meets up with Gale and joins ground forces, in order to gain closer access to President Snow’s Mansion and fight her way thru any dangerous obstacle hidden along the streets of the capitol.
As I headed into “Mockingjay Part 2”, I as prepared for a let down. With the division of the final book into two films, we had been presented with a slow, boring 1st half with “Mockingjay Part 1”. The opening scene shows Katniss being examined; with a badly bruised neck and barely any voice, the setting is tense and I’m confused. It took me a few minutes to recall the final moments of Part 1, in order to make sense of what was on screen. By the time my brain had recovered, the scene had moved on and so had Ms. Everdeen.
The past 3 films in the franchise have given us massive sets, tense action sequences and outstanding costumes; in that respect, “Mockingjay Part 2”, does not disappoint. Extravagant Capitol Buildings stand vacant as Katniss, Gale, Peeta and the rest of the rebel crew fight their way thru hundreds of dangerous booby traps set by Snow. Scared Capitol citizens; who are offered sanctuary at Snow’s Mansion, are still dressed to the 9’s as they flood the streets, recoiling from approaching gunfire. A close quarter battle takes place in the drainage tunnels below The Capitol streets. In what may be the best action sequence in the entire film, Katniss, Gale, Peeta and Finnick fight their way thru ravenous humanoid “Mutts”; a creature that looks more reminiscent of a sci-fi horror flick, than any Hunger Games creation. The final scene between Snow, Coin and Katniss, is by far the most fulfilling, and although I heard the outcome was a shock in the book, I could see the buildup coming from a mile away on screen.
Despite the expert performances that Lawrence and fellow cast members provide, the script remained generic and uninspired. Though the overall emotional, moral, and driven journey thru the dystopian adventure tells an effectively inspiring tale, I left the theater thinking, “Well, at least it’s over”. However, I hope the hardcore fans will be truly satisfied by the conclusion of the franchise.
Mockingjay Part 2, in theaters November 20