Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Julianne Moore, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Mahershala Ali, Paula Malcomson, Natalie Dormer
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Age Rating: 12A/PG-13
Running Time: 137 Minutes
In this final instalment of THE HUNGER GAMES franchise, we see the war of ‘Panem’ escalate to its peak as Katniss Everden (Jennifer Lawrence) leads the rebellion into battle against the Capitol and its twisted leader President Snow (Donald Sutherland).
We are thrown into the aftermath of the previous film where the corrupted and brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) strangled his co-victor of the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss, attempting to murder her, acting as a pawn in President Snow’s strategy to destroy the rebellion.
After recovering her vocal chords (albeit extremely quickly) and sitting down with President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and the ever supportive Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Katniss tries to remind Peeta of who he really is but it all seems too late. Once again Katniss’ love triangle rears its confusing head as she turns to the one man she can always depend on, Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), but will her mind and heart ever let go of Peeta?
As Katniss, Gale and their team of hunger games “superstars” traipse behind the front lines of the rebellion, filming propaganda videos whilst on their march to the Capitol, events turn dark and certain characters show their true colours which results in a grim depiction of a revolution, a once again boundary pushing 12A, and a brilliant final scene (or perhaps what should have been left as the final scene!).
The conclusion Katniss Everdeen’s journey from District 12 child to Panem’s iconic heroine is full of intense and nail-biting scenes, good action sequences and a powerful and timeless story.
Once again the film is decorated with an impressive cast of past and present Hollywood stars, all of which deliver great performances, and the costume design is as always impressive!
As we come to the end, the music certainly signifies this with a brilliant score throughout which really intensifies integral scenes within the film. The visual effects are also perhaps the best we have seen! Although, until now they have never really appeared ground-breaking or challenging, there are a few very dark and scary scenes in MOCKINGJAY PART 2 where CGI is used brilliantly.
What this film does lack however, is the killer impact of the previous film. Up until now, the franchise has never really struggled to captivate its audience throughout. However, with a surprisingly lengthy running time, there are several scenes which seem tiresome and many where we feel as though we are one of the soldiers being dragged through by Katniss and her team. This feature works in parts, where there are a few brilliant sections, but then there are a few which would have been better if kept short. For once, I felt as though a best-selling novel turned movie franchise actually ensured that it kept entirely to the script and ended the film in the same way as the book. However, unfortunately I think that this particularly loyalty to the script does in fact hinder the films ending.
Overall, I once again enjoyed a HUNGER GAMES film. Some people may call me crazy, some may accuse me of poor taste, but all I can say is that it is 137 minutes of action and romance entertainment which resonates with the viewer throughout. As much as I enjoyed seeing Katniss and her team once more, it was in no way my favourite of the 4 films! I think it is safe to say it comes in at joint 3rd favourite with the original film in 2012, as personally it struggles to match the brilliance of the 2nd and 3rd. If you take a different spin on this though and treat MOCKINGJAY PART 1 & 2 as an extra-long conclusion, then it acts as a terrific film with the perfect blend of drama, action and romance, which unfortunately drags on a little too long and lets itself down right at the last minute with its uneventful ending.
“The revolution is about all of us.”
Recommendation: This conclusion is well worth the prices of the admission ticket, but a 3D experience is definitely not needed.