Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part Two
“Turn Your Weapons To The Capitol! Turn Your Weapons To Snow…”
Looking back at my time growing up as a teenager, it is rather fair to say that in terms of cinematic experiences that was forged during my development from child-minded youngster to well, child-minded adult, that I, and many others of similar age, were well and truly spoiled. I mean come on, we had the reinvention of fantasy epics with The Lord of the Rings, the angsty teen family friendly years of Harry Potter, and the re-invention of both the Bond and the Batman films, with The Dark Knight still being a huge turning point in terms of my understanding of what makes a truly great cinematic memory. This complete spoilage of greatness during my own personal childhood has only received further gratitude in recent times when examining the recent implosion of child-targeted franchises hoping to fill the gaps that series’ such as Harry Potter vacated when they came to their concluding tales, most of which have seen that the teen-led dystopian universe is the right way to go. Although The Hunger Games series definitely is the leader of the pack when it comes to such, beating the Divergent and Maze Runner series’ hands down, its’ concluding tale in the form of Mockingjay – Part Two is an unfortunate mess, leaving the legacy of such a franchise ending with a whim, rather than a stage of defiance and strength in a vein similar to its’ titular character.
If you aren’t already well and truly versed in the plot-lines of the whole Hunger Games saga, there really is not much point attempting to try and explain almost seven hours worth of backstory right now except from the fact that the entire series is basically Battle Royale with cheese (yes, I loved that too Pulp Fiction fans) where aside from the rather important and intelligent notions of dystopian futures, uprisings and a fight against tyranny, something of which would give George Orwell a run for his money, The Hunger Games franchise has always seemed to be rather misplaced in my own personal point of view due to a variety of reasons that seem to come full circle in its’ concluding chapter. Firstly, aside from Jennifer Lawrence well and truly embracing the role of Katniss Everdeen, a character in which is meant to symbolise a role model for many fans of the series, there really isn’t one other character in which I can truly say I feel heavily invested in both emotionally and mentally. Because of this, the entirety of MJ Part One was rather a significant bore, with way too many scenes of exposition and explanation and much too less of actually getting to the point, highlighting the argument for why these concluding parts were not just made into one film rather than two.
Such a problem continues in MJ Part Two, where scenes of excruciatingly dull dialogue are played out far too long too often in comparison to scenes of vital importance which are sped through way too quickly, resulting in a sense of continuous questioning and a jump between states of sheer boredom and utter confusion. Thankfully, with Lawrence in the titular role as the Mockingjay, such scenes are saved from total extinction with her performance as the “girl on fire”, continuing her rather brilliant start to life as an actress, whilst the seedy, ice-like figure of the wonderful Donald Sutherland as the ruthless autocratic President Snow is also a trait in the film’s favour. Amid scenes of sheer tension, particularly one in which our heroes and heroines venture into the city’s sewers, is times in which the film’s fundamental dark subject matter come into force, particularly in one scene in which we witness a mass gathering of children being blown to pieces, and it is here where the age-old question of classification comes into account, with MJ Part Two, being definitely in the category of top-end 12A’s. In other words, do not take your seven year old child to see this. You may scar them for life.
Obviously as I am not a die-hard fan of the series, MJ Part Two was never going to fulfill all my expectations entirely, but the fact that the concluding chapter of this franchise is made in such a terrible fashion upsets me personally on behalf of its’ core fans. It’s messy, it’s overlong, it features the worse love-triangle since Twilight, MJ Part Two for me, was a severe let-down from my already mediocre expectations, ending on a sour note rather than a show of brilliance that the first two in the series brought with it. At the end of the day, it may be a suitable end to the Mockingjay series for some, but for me, Mockingjay – Part Two was a wholly mediocre affair, too hell bent on getting too much done too quickly whilst reeling on the lack of assured substance and depth that may have been accomplished if made into one film rather than two for the sake of the accountants. And boy, that ending was truly terrible.
Overall Score: 5/10
Posted on 26/11/2015, in Uncategorized and tagged action, Donald Sutherland, Dystopian, Film 2015, Film Review, jennifer lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, liam hemsworth, Mockingjay Part Two, philip seymour hoffman, sci-fi, Sequel, The Hunger Games, Woody Harrelson. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.