Grim Conclusion for ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2’

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CHICAGO – This has to be what the filmmakers intended when they split the final book of the “Hunger Games” series into two films. While “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1” was all set up, Part 2 doesn’t just lead up to a huge climax.

It’s all climax in a campaign that barely stops to breathe. When the characters aren’t running for their lives they’re engaged in a passionless love triangle. It’s all brooding conversations in darkness, and booby traps as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) marches on the Capitol to stick an arrow through President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) heart.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2’
Photo credit: Lionsgate

This series is no one’s idea of great filmmaking, but they do have enough resources and tools at their disposal to elevate them above the usual Young Adult franchises. Gone are the social and political commentaries and the fantastical world of the capitol filled with extravagent excess.

Now almost everyone who lent a sense of style to the series (including Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman) are pushed off to the margins to watch Katniss’ march on the capitol. But that sense of style and humor is sorely needed on the humorless march to a finale.

While rebel leader (Julianne Moore) wants to keep Katniss contained as a propoganda tool, she has other plans by sneaking into the front lines. She’s fed up with being an image to be manipulated by others, she’s out for action. But she winds up relegated to a purely symbolic squad that will follow miles behind the front to capture inspiring images to rally the masses.

Josh Hutchinson
Josh Hutchinson in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2’
Photo credit: Lionsgate

The films only dashes of humor are of the black comic variety supplied both by Sutherland’s President Snow, and the film’s somewhat sadistic booby traps. From a subway station that reveals giant twirling drill bits of danger, to a tsunami of an oil slick, this was the one part of this story that showed a spark you’d expect from a series about kids killing kids.

The Hunger Games has always been just a cut above other serviceable blockbusters without rising to greatness. And the best that can be said for “Mockingjay - Part 2” is that it is a perfectly serviceable finale that puts a button on series without reaching greatness or devolving into infamy.

”Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2” opens everywhere November 20th. Featuring Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Josh Hutchinson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland and Elizabeth Banks. Screenplay adapted by Peter Craig and Danny Strong, from the novel by Suzanne Collins. Directed by Francis Lawrence. Rated “PG-13”

HollywoodChicago.com contributor Spike Walters

By SPIKE WALTERS
Contributor
HollywoodChicago.com
spike@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2015 Spike Walters, HollywoodChicago.com

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