Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games’ book series has been very popular. Spawning several spin-offs and raking in dollars, it was inevitable Hollywood would call. Perfectly capturing the ‘franchise’ mentality of current commercial film-making, ‘The Hunger Games’ has been a licence to print cash. Stretching out the finale in the bid for more filthy lucre, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ concludes the cash-cow to the expected sadness of its producers.
Determined to confront evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland), Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) aims to rid the nation of Panem of his wicked tyranny. Helped by friends Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss risks her life to endure one final game in the hopes of creating a brighter future for her people.
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2’ bucks the recent trend of extended finales. Whilst stretches of padding are evident, this second chapter of the last book works better than the endings for ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Twilight’. Francis Lawrence’s direction has a lot to do with this, as he manages to keep the action and story moving. It comes apart a little with a somewhat jumbled ending but until then it is diverting viewing. The series’ themes of media manipulation and survival at any cost are mixed well into the narrative and are strongly conveyed.
Jennifer Lawrence and her co-stars effectively step into the breach for the final time. Lawrence’s heroine is forced to endure the politicking as well as plotting revenge against the President. As the evil dictator, Sutherland has the most fun, spitting forth his lines with velvety venom. Their characters manage to hide the mechanical predictability of the franchise although the action sequences and moments of genuine tension make this instalment more memorable than most.
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2’ mostly delivers a stirring finale. With news of a prequel/spin-off series being developed, it seems franchises can be squeezed for all they’re worth. For now, the series ends on a reasonable high that should satisfy the book’s hard-core fans.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 6
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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