Oh the splitting of movies, how I hate you. It is the epitome of Hollywood greed and their unwavering need to suck up every penny you own. Mockingjay Pt. 1 was slow and uneventful. Not even scratching the two hour mark it was all too obvious that the final book in the franchise was split in two for basically every reason other than something that was for the good of the story. Pt. 1 was a 100 minute trailer for what we have now, Mockingjay Pt. 2. The original Hunger Games was decent but forgettable. Catching Fire raised the bar through superior directing, smoother, more stable cinematography and of course its stellar cast. Catching Fire created constant intensity and progressed at a brisk pace never allowing for moments of absolute boredom. Basically they prevented what ended up being Mockingjay Pt.1 and in some ways Pt. 2 as well.
Without question Pt. 1 is the weakest in the franchise but it seems that it drained into Pt. 2 because despite moments of complete peril and action there are scenes that drag unbelievably slow killing any momentum built up by some fantastical action sequence. This should have been one gigantic push for the finale of rebels vs. capitol but instead the ridiculous love triangle continues to dominate the attention of the main characters. The freedoms and lives of mankind are in the balance but first we have to know who Katniss is going to screw once everything is over. It’s childish at best and wholly unnecessary creating speed bumps and slowing the film to a crawl at times.
Where The Hunger Games has always excelled beyond most garbage Y.A. novels (most of them are garbage, let’s be honest) is through the cast. Jennifer Lawrence delivers yet another strong performance as Katniss and through her journey she is helped immensely by her supporting cast featuring Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) and Donald Sutherland among others. If it wasn’t for this cast and the strong performances this would be no better than the Divergent series.
Pt. 2 improves from the mess that was left by Pt. 1 but ultimately it’s more filler for a longer runtime. The biggest question it raised for me has nothing to do with the story or characters really; I am genuinely curious how they brought Hoffman back for the final film. Had he already filmed much of it? Did they use takes from the previous Hunger Games and digitally map his face on a body much like they did for Paul Walker? If you’ve seen movies like Terminator Genisys or Tron: Legacy then you’ve seen prime examples of digitizing the human face gone wrong. As far as I can tell they did a flawless job with Hoffman. But like I said I’m not sure of the process they took to bring him back for the finale. And that brings me to the visuals and from the first film to this last one, the visuals have been on point.
Ultimately Pt. 2 for me is much the same as Pt. 1, there’s really nothing to it. It has strong performances and decent action sequences littered here and there but at the end of it all this franchise is nothing but a cash grab and has sort of run out of gas and has been abandoned on the side of the road. It never achieves the feeling of finality and permanence that is required in a final film. This will undoubtedly please the rabid fans of the books and previous films but for me it just didn’t quite click. Catching Fire is the peak of this franchise with the rest sort of just sputtering into insignificance.
I have to add that I’m a bit annoyed about the love triangle aspect for a particular reason and that is it never goes anywhere. I was told after Pt. 1 that it had a point and here we are at the end with no point to any of it. I feel I was lied to by certain people on Facebook (you know who you are). The only thing I took from it all is that Katniss is a bit of a floozy, to put it mildly. That or she’s just dumb. Either way it’s not good.
Rated PG-13 For: intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material
Runtime: 137 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-fi
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 3.5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 3 Nerdskulls
Check out the trailer below:
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