Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
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The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 2 is out in the UK and our film critic Jordan Samuel has seen the much anticipated film, and goes into the last movie in the saga for ComiConverse.
I am not the biggest fan of young adult books but something about The Hunger Games has always stood out to me with the more grown up characters and plot elements. So when it was announced in 2009 that the book would be getting the film treatment my eyes lit up, and after 3 major films it is finally ending with Mockingjay – Part 2.
Ending a franchise can be tough, but does Mockingjay Part 2 do it well? Find out as ComiConverse looks into the final chapter.
When the Harry Potter franchise ended I was literally in tears and the same thing happened to me while watching the last movie in The Hunger Games series; Mockingjay Part 2 – which has finalized the Katniss storyline with great effect.
With the nation of Panem in a full-scale revolutionary war, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) – Katniss goes off on a mission with the District 13 unit as they risk their lives to liberate the citizens of Panem, and stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. Although rebels - including fellow victors, Johanna (Jena Malone), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), and Beetee (Jeffrey Wright)- now control most of Panem, the Girl on Fire must still overcome one last challenge to win President Snow's "game" - to conquer the Capitol at the risk of losing her friends and loved ones. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in the Hunger Games as she realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival – they are for the future of Panem.
Director Francis Lawrence brings some much needed weight to the table in both the cinematography and action aspects – it feels much more gritty and emotion centered. Character development has been outstanding throughout the films and Mockingjay Part 2 capitalizes on it with Jennifer Lawrence killing it as Katniss Everdeen.
First thing the movie is a drastic improvement from the last part, which felt drawn out and boring at Times but Mockingjay 2 feels like the movie fans have been waiting for. The story picks up straight after the last movie as Katniss moves in on the capital.
The film follows the last book in the series as heroine Katniss fights for the freedom of District 13. She leads charge in assassinating President Snow who has become infatuated with destroying the Mockingjay, It showcases some amazing range from actress Jennifer Lawrence she provides some very gut wrenching scenes, for the last time as Katniss Everdeen. The plot is very simple and is effective with its goal. Which is to end the franchise with the biggest bang and it succeeds in that sense, but there are problems with the pacing. Director Francis Lawrence brings some much needed weight to the table in both the cinematography and action aspects – it feels much more gritty and emotion centered.
Action set pieces are done well, and feel much more real with a sense of tension. Gone is the hideous shaky camera that littered the original film; instead director Francis Lawrence makes sure audiences understand what District 13 is fighting against.
Character development has been outstanding throughout the films and Mockingjay Part 2 capitalizes on it with Jennifer Lawrence feeling a lot more mature in her role – It reveals how far she has come in her acting career.
Delivering the best swansong for the character who has defined her career – each sequence she is in feels very emotional as she tries to take down Present Show one last time. I also loved the parallels between Katniss and Peeta who both have been through the hardest couple of years in this franchise. Josh Hutcherson is decent in this outing but wasn’t given enough screen time, which sucks. I feel like more of Peeta would have made the film feel a little more complete but needless to say he was good to watch.
Liam Hemsworth also returns, but I didn’t really feel his presence as Gale, he just never provides any emotion to the character which is strange because he is the best friend of Katniss – the connection between Liam and Jennifer is amazing though.
Donald Sutherland plays President Snow one last time in Mockingjay Part 2 with great effect, providing some amazing scenes as the evil leader – Sutherland’s varied layers as an actor allows the character to come alive. Diseased Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) provides his last performance as Plutarch, and every single sequence he is in packs emotional punch. Phillip would have been proud of this final swan song to him as an actor – he also gets mentioned in the credits.
Mockingjay Part 2 is the best in the Hunger Games franchise by a mile, and marks a solid conclusion to the series – with some heartwarming elements. I cried in the cinema while watching this because these characters have had their told beautifully but now it’s over for good.
Jordan Samuel is the Lead Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @LoadingBarsUK
Mockingjay Part 2 is the best in the Hunger Games franchise by a mile, and marks a solid conclusion to the series – with some heartwarming elements.