REVIEW: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2

Hardcore fans rejoice – this final installation will not disappoint.

 

The opening scene of the movie continues from the one that closes Mockingjay Part 1 where Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) was trying to strangle Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) upon his rescue from The Capitol. We see Plutarch (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) consoling Katniss after the attack. Gamesmaker Plutarch and President Coin (Julianne Moore) are using Katniss as a powerful propoganda pawn in District 13, in an attempt to gather rebels from the other districts to join their army in the war against the Capitol.

 

Katniss is reluctant to be the face of this rebellion. She is distracted by Peeta’s behaviour. Peeta’s return means the return of Katniss’ love triangle, which includes the her hometown heartthrob Gale (Liam Hemsworth). Despite Hutcherson’s dodgy hair dye job, his performance as the mentally dismembered Peeta does tug on the heartstrings. It is clear he has been through the wars himself – Tracker Jacker venom was used to torture and brainwash him to turn against Katniss while captured in the Capitol.

 

We are reunited with Katniss’ family, her sister Prim in particular who is always an audience favourite – and of course, Buttercup, her grumpy ginger moggy cat.

 

As the revolution builds momentum and rebels begin to gather in District 2, Katniss is told by President Coin and Plutarch that they no longer need her in the field. To them, she is more of an asset in District 13 where they can control her and keep her in line. In classic Katniss fashion shes ignores this, sneaks onto a medical ship and heads off to the frontlines.

 

Katniss is assigned to a unit, but of course the District 13 camera crew are never far behind her.

 

This movie boasts a star studded lineup with appearances from Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) as Lyme, a past victor of the games, and Michelle Forbes (The Killing) as Lieutenant Jackson.

 

This movie is stunning, yet extremely stressful to watch. Lawrence has played Katniss over three years in four blockbusters and this is most definitely her best performance yet. It has been an emotional rollercoaster for fans of Katniss who have watched her grow from girl to woman to warrior throughout the series. The last half of the movie is all over the place. As soon as you have digested and come to terms with one shocking event another hits you straight away. So much happens that Part 2 itself could have been split into three more movies. The final scene, albeit cute, is dissatifying and leaves a plethora of unanswered questions.

 

Many wondered what would become of Plutarch’s character when Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away in February 2014, 8 days before completing his final scenes for the sequel. Many fans have been speculating on how filmmakers would account for him in his remaining scenes. He was notably absent in some scenes but Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) filled in where possible. Jennifer Lawrence was reportedly glad that no “digital trickery” was used. “He was one of the greatest actors, I think, of all time. I just think to try to fake a Phillip Seymour Hoffman performance would have been catastrophic,” she said in an interview.

 

The Hunger Games is a story of love and hate, of peace and war. It centres on this extraordinary girls who fights and risks her life time and time again for her friends, family and the future. Author Suzanne Collins took inspiration from real wars in places like Iraq, reality television and roman gladiator games. There is no denying the similarities between the war in Panem and the war in our world today. Katniss risked everything and more to ensure the safety of Panem’s future generations and one cannot help but wonder how she would tackle the turmoil and turbulence we see around the world today.

 

Alana Laverty

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