Wednesday, November 25, 2015

[Review] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The final installment of The Hunger Games had a relatively huge weekend at the box office, but remarkably, it was the lowest opening of the series. You'd assume the grand finale should have the largest numbers, right? The diehards will show no matter what, but maybe other people are getting sick of having to wait an entire year to see the back half of a film that was split in two.

In fact, if you aren't a reader of the books (like me) or heavily invested into the film franchise (like me), you might've even forgotten exactly where and how the last one left off, especially because Part 2's cold opening scenes require you to refresh your memory. Anyway, here Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) continues to lead the rebellion against the corrupted President Snow. Battles are imminent and stakes are high. "I'm going to kill Snow," Katniss calmly and confidently states.

The front portion of Mockingjay Part 2 still can't help but feel padded, almost as if the film is going out of its way to strive for the two-hour plus mark. It's monotone, deliberate, and relentlessly somber--to the point of being flat. While it's clear that the characters are tired and diminished at this point in the story (as they should be)--the audience shouldn't feel the same fatigue. Fortunately, things pick up quite a bit later while Katniss and company are trudging through a sewer system, and nasty Alien-esque creatures attack them. The scene is so cool that you forgive the fact that it doesn't actually seem like it belongs in the cinematic world that The Hunger Games has (sort of) established.

Not only does it take too long the get there, but the climax only proves to be a moderate thrill, resulting in that loathsome anti-climactic zone--Which really is a shame, given all the built up melodrama, haphazard "moral complexities", and the endless amount of exposition from the characters--talking about their plans of attack as well as what's already happened (I know I said I needed a refresher, but not THAT much). The film also attempts to hit some emotional beats, but your mileage will depend on how close you've grown to these characters. In my case, I found them to be either detached or just not interesting enough, aside from Katniss.

The series has had its moments. But personally, I'm glad I won't have to watch another one again.


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