Mockingjay – Part 2: a decent end to a decent franchise

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Isaac Owens, Broadcasting Manager

After three books and four movies the renowned Hunger Games franchise comes to a close with its final installment, Mockingjay – Part 2.

With Hollywood’s recent trend of splitting a single novel into two separate movies (beginning with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) we are presented with the second half of a book worthy of one movie.

Arguably the worst Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay – Part 1 was at times agonizingly slow paced, with its lengthy dialogue and lack in excitement. In Part 2, the series rediscovers some of its momentum from the first and second movie, but still struggles to find its voice.

Not straying from its source material, Part 2 is an incredibly dark movie. While it still has the production feel of a teen dystopian, this last movie loses all of the light of the previous films. With its brooding near two hour and twenty minute run time, the movie can at times be exhausting.

In some ways the film’s serious tone is a refreshment, as so many movies of this genre chase campy thrills this one stays true to its form. That being said several of the movie’s flaws come from the story. Strangely turning the other cheek away from moments of true savagery or overshadowing the devastations of certain scenes, parts of this movie that should hit hard or contain powerful messages simply drift by.

In some ways this is also a technically flawed movie. Many scenes in the film are poorly lit and especially are hard of hearing. Many conversations are tainted by mumbling actors and poor sound mixing. If there was a Razzie award for worst sound editing Mockingjay – Part 2 would surely take the cake. This is partially disappointing due to that fact of it being Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performance released posthumously.

While it has some technical flaws, many of the movies set pieces are fantastically designed. The architecture of the Capitol of Panem and the destruction of various districts is wonderful eye candy. In addition to the sets, the action sequences of the movie are rousingly constructed. With the exception of one entirely out of place but still riveting zombie chase sequence, the action scenes are effective to the story telling.

Without a doubt, the greatest strength of this movie and every other Hunger Games film is Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of protagonist Katniss Everdeen. Lawrence steals the show in the movie as she shows she is an actress capable of much versatility. In a rollercoaster of emotions, from subdued and cold emotionlessness to screams of agonizing sorrow, the performance helps make up for gaps in her character’s story.

Surprisingly dark, Mockingjay – Part 2 is a decent yet forgettable finale to a half exciting franchise. Lacking in the previous movies’ humor but still holding onto its exciting spark of rebellious drive, the film is overall what to expect from a franchise that grew tired. In Katniss’ final monologue, the movie summarizes itself perfectly. “…I do it over and over. Gets a little tedious after all these years.”


 

6/10