The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part Two picks up with protagonist Katniss Everdeen in recovery after being attacked by a brainwashed Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson. A large portion of the movie is dedicated to their relationship, and whether or not Katniss will end up with Peeta or Gale Hawthorne, played by Liam Hemsworth. The three of them are members of an elite squad of rebel soldiers who are given the task of fighting behind the frontline for the sole purpose of shooting propaganda films.
Expectations were high for Part Two after a record-breaking attendance for the previous three movies. But although splitting the final book of a series into two was a great way for moviemakers to double their profits and keep fans seething with anticipation, the move was unnecessary and may have had detrimental effects on the movie.
Throughout the movie, there was a large focus on action, which failed to capture the essence of the book, which was about so much more than violence and war. The movie failed to capture critical romance and lacked the emphasis on the dystopian society in which the story takes place.
The first two movies of the series kept viewers invested in the characters, the society, and the storyline. This was crucial so that the movies did not follow the same pattern of, “good but the book was better” that is so often seen in movies based off of bestselling books. Mockingjay–Part 1 felt like a placeholder, something to satisfy fans while the filmmakers worked on something that would be more exciting, more dramatic, and more romantic than any of the previous movies.
This installment was good, but not great—but that was okay, as there was another movie to look forward to. This made expectations rise even higher, with fans hopeful that this final movie would end the franchise in a better way than it began.
If Mockingjay—Part Two could be viewed as a movie independent of its counterparts, the reviews may not have been as harsh. That being said, the franchise would have been much more successful if the Hunger Games trilogy stayed just that: a trilogy.
This star-studded movie had potential to be so much more. The characters were strong in their roles, but at times the dialogue felt staged and even insincere. America’s favorite, Jennifer Lawrence, delivered a great performance, playing the strong female lead and the face of the rebellion against her oppressive government.
The movie’s main plot is Katniss Everdeen struggle to overthrow her enemy, President Snow, played by the eminent Donald Sutherland. The only problem with the many well-respected and experienced actors is that they were barely featured in the film.
Fans would have liked to see more of Stanley Tucci, who plays the colorful television host Caesar Flickerman, and stylist Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth Banks. Filmgoers love a well-rounded and diverse cast, and though the movie could have provided one, the cast was not taken advantage of. Had we seen a little bit more of the characters that fans fell in love with from the start, fans may have been more invested in the movie.
This movie is definitely worth seeing, even if only to see how the ending plays out. Therefore, I would give Mockingjay—Part Two three-and-a-half stars out of five.