Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Mockingjay Strikes Back

The Hunger Games’ saga concludes with ‘Mockingjay Part 2,’ the fourth and final film adapted from Suzanne Collins’ popular post-apocalyptic YA trilogy.  The story of a young woman from humble beginnings who’s so badass that she won the bloody national pastime which had become an annual tradition in the fictional country depicted in the novels not once but twice and rose to become the universal symbol against tyranny and oppression, it is easy to see how ‘The Hunger Games’ appeals to so many people across all age groups.
‘Mockingjay Part 2’ picks up right where Part 1 (big surprise!) left off (reviewed here: http://www.moviesaccordingtodave.blogspot.com/2014/12/to-kill-mockingjay-act-one.html), as the rebellion of the districts against the capitol of Panem and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) reaches a crescendo after Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) survived the “betrayal” and near assassination by her former ‘Hunger Games’ partner Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).  Clocking in at a brisk two-hours and seventeen minutes, I feel that I have to retract my initial dismissal of splitting up the third book into two movies as nothing more than a shameless cash grab.  To conclude the series in one movie would make it well over three hours long even if it’s mercilessly edited down, and both parts of ‘Mockingjay’ are essential to telling the whole story as well as providing depth and nuances to the key players.
‘Mockingjay Part 2’ is the gritty “war movie” of the series and is as visceral and uncompromising as a PG-13 movie geared toward teens and young adults would allow.  There are moments of triumph and joy but also tragedy and heartbreak.  The million-dollar question as to whom Katniss will ultimately settle down with in the Katniss-Peeta-Gale love triangle is thankfully answered by the end of the movie, but as in the case of “Team Edward” versus “Team Jacob” not everyone will go home happy.
Grade: B+
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