Sorry Katniss Everdeen. I’ve seen better finales than this. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two(still way too long) failed to register.
After four years and four cash cow entries, the feeling I got when I left this rebellion joint was a lack of satisfaction. That’s the problem when you decide to split up the final book of a popular book series. After Mockingjay Part One came and disappointed with its drab storyline and overwrought atmosphere, expectations were high for this finale. The gamble didn’t pay off.
If you don’t know the plot, let me bring you up to speed. Katniss(Jennifer Lawrence, legit but bored and out of tears) is still the face of the rebellion against President Snow(Donald Sutherland, the only person having any fun) and his evil empire of tyranny. When she is told to merely wage war via camera and inspire the rebels to fight Snow and his men, she has other plans. She wants to kill Snow, but will have to get past many obstacles to do so, including dragging the audience on the driest love triangle of all time.
Seriously, the Peeta or Gale contest grew old two movies ago. It drags down the action here. It doesn’t help that Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutchinson seem like misplaced jocks from the Twilight films. Hemsworth is so bad. It must be hard at Thanksgiving when your brother is Thor. He sucks. Go back to playing the heartthrob or use your accent in a different film.
There are few surprises. Having read the book, the film is a series of check marks. The raids. The ambush set up by the Games. The explosions. The longing looks extended between Katniss, Gale and Peeta. More explosions. Too much talking. The ending feels completely tacked on after a depressing climax. In the book, which wasn’t well received, the ending didn’t land with such a thud.
The action is thrilling in parts but doesn’t pack enough of a punch. The attack of “The Mutts” is scary yet reminded me of I Am Legend zombies. The climax, so powerfully written in the book, fizzles here in the film. Whenever in doubt, Lawrence just blows things up.
The film plays long and wears on the viewer. Watching the story take its final swings, the viewer waits for that final point of interest and it never comes. The cast is game yet tired. Lawrence has always been the difference in these films, a wicked combo of strength, attitude and beauty that is worth fighting for and watching. Here, even her Katniss doesn’t have a place.
There isn’t enough of Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch. He is the vital comic relief that is missing from this overly serious film. The presence of Philip Seymour Hoffman is just sad and wasted. Julianne Moore casts a cold spell as Coin, a woman who has more up her sleeve than good will and harmony. Sutherland is good at smug sinister moves, but his character is all too familiar.
Collins’ books aimed to tell a world weary tale that mirrors the modern world and possibly the future that awaits us, but it isn’t interesting enough nor does it connect with the viewer. The propaganda, rebellion, and political ideals are all there, but none of it registers. The first two films were thrilling exhibits of human sacrifice and heroism and kept you plugged in. The final two films bog everything down in a boring heap of nonsense.
This is the kind of movie you get up from your seat and shrug your shoulders at. It wasn’t good, bad or ugly. It wasn’t disappointing. It just wasn’t fulfilling enough to justify the split of the final book and the cliffhanger trap placed in Part one. After a great start to the franchise, The Hunger Games ended with a whimper. Save your hard earned theater cash for other more worthy films.