ReelBob: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’
By Bob Bloom
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” races to its long-awaited conclusion with — spoiler alert — Katniss Everdeen and her revolutionary comrades emerging victorious.
Something is off-putting about this finale, however. It’s as if the actors are simply going through the motions because they want to wrap up everything and move on to other projects.
Now, that does not mean the performers are lackadaisical; it’s just that the performances lack any spark.
And while Jennifer Lawrence brings her usual intensity to the role of Katniss, her connection to the audience is somehow diminished. It is as if she has outgrown the role — professionally and chronologically — and we can sense it.
The film is basically nonstop action — with a few interludes for political intrigues and comments on Katniss’ importance to the revolution.
The leaders of the revolution, especially the Machiavellian President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), see Katniss more as a propaganda tool than a soldier, which rankles the young woman because she has vowed to kill Panem dictator President Snow (Donald Sutherland) for his various atrocities. He most notably destroyed her homeland, District 12, and the captured and tortured her boyfriend, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson).
“Mockingjay 2” is so serious that any sense of adventure quickly dissipates until its nonexistent.
The feature is dark and violent, with many fatalities — including some familiar faces.
Plus, at times, the film feels repetitive; for example, Katniss and her small band of rebels wend their way through and under the Capitol, avoiding troops and booby traps to reach their tyrannical target.
The movie feels padded, mostly because of the decision to split the final book in the series into two movies. It has too much starting and stopping with unnecessary scenes of exposition and true confession-like dialogue between the action sequences.
The film also goes on too long, having more climaxes than the finale of “The Lord of the Rings” saga.
Fans of the books will most likely approve of the movie, though some may not appreciate the tacked-on ending that brings the series to a close.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” is a competent conclusion to a very strong adaptation of the young-adult series, far outweighing such piffle as the “Twilight” or “Divergent” films.
It’s just too bad that this finale could not attain the momentous emotional heights its potential afforded.
Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. His reviews appear at ReelBob (reelbob.com) and The Film Yap (filmyap.com). He also reviews Blu-rays and DVDs. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Other reviews by Bloom can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY — PART 2
2½ stars out of 4
(PG-13), intense action and violence, mature themes