‘Mockingjay’ ends ‘Hunger Games’ franchise with bang

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Katniss and rebel forces invade the Capitol. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as Katniss has always been stallar, but she gets to showcase a new range of emotions in Mockingjay- Part 2. Her face portrays the battle between strength and hopelessness constantly being fought in her head for the film’s duration.

Claire Lefton , A&E Chief

 

It is refreshing to see a young-adult film with the perfect balance of realism and fantasy. The final entry in the Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2 harmonizes those aspects superbly.

In this finale, Katniss Everdeen and the rebels must invade the Capitol and assassinate the tyrannical President Snow before both sides engage in thoughtless acts of war that would destroy the lives and integrities of everyone involved.

Besides being an excellent film and conclusion to The Hunger Games, the message Mockingjay Part 2 sends is unique to both young adult franchises and most war movies in general: civilian casualties are reprehensible, no matter what side they are on. This moral carries even more weight after recent events like the Paris attacks.

Avclub.com critic A.A. Dowd said in his review of the movie, “Ends justifying means, the innocence of civilians, the morality of killing those who silently, passively condone an oppressive society—seeing characters debate these topical topics is more uncomfortable this week than it would have been last week.”
Easily the strongest aspect of this movie was the set design. From the immaculate detail in the Capitol to the rubble of districts that felt like they were really destroyed in acts of war, the production design was exquisite.

Production designer Philip Messina told flickeringmyth.com, “The Roman Empire to Nazi Germany to Socialist Russia to Communist China there is a through line of power based on architecture and symbolism… I draw from all of that and try to make it our own. How would it be reinterpreted in an American fashion? That’s what is unique about our story.”

If there were any issues with Mockingjay- Part 2, they would be about the love triangle. At the point this film takes place, the romances do not and should not matter. Every time love interests Gale and Peeta argues over who was better for Katniss it was hard not to think, “There are much more pressing matters at hand!”

Peter Travers from Rolling Stone said, “Frankly, I don’t give a damn whether Katniss ends up with dull Gale…or puckish Peeta …, who’s brainwashed by Snow, but not enough to give him a personality. The juice comes outside the love story.”

Overall, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2 is a fulfilling conclusion and even better adaptation. Do not miss this if you are a fan of The Hunger Games, young-adult films, or even action movies.