The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 Film Review

Film Review by Jon E Clist

The Premise
As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

The Review
So before we get hard out into this edition of The Hunger Games franchise it is good to note that the way the previous film finished was not according to the director's original plans. The final scene of Mockingjay Part 1, where Katniss wakes up and learns Peeta has been hijacked (after he tries to kill her) was originally intended to be the opening scene of this film, but during production, the filmmakers decided ending Part 1 after Peeta is knocked out by Boggs and the screen cuts to black was too big a cliffhanger for general audiences, so it was added after that instead. So you could say that you have already seen the start of this film even before you hit the cinemas.

Then you get some of the comments that have come from those behind the film too. Mockingjay Part 2 is considered by director, Francis Lawrence, as the most violent Hunger Games film out of the 4. Then, core cast member Liam Hemsworth said that this film "might be the best in the series" and "never lets up" in its action. Based on how the source novel was so crammed with action, character deaths and such it is to be expected that this finale was going to be something rather massive and full on. I certainly would agree that this film is pretty intense and goes at a hundred miles an hour right from the get go. It is all about the journey to the heart of the capital and all of the elements that they have to overcome in order to get there. I am sure that most of you readers will have heard from those who have read the books that there will be bodies strewn along the path and some of the more established characters won’t make it through.
There is no surprise that in general the acting within this series and especially this final instalment is so very good as it stars three Academy Award winning actors: Jennifer Lawrence won in 2013 for Silver Linings Playbook and Julianne Moore won in 2015 for Still Alice. Additionally, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman won his Oscar in 2006 for Capote. Hoffman was well known as a consummate savant when it came to his acting performances. As this is his final film, I guess the question is, “Does this performance continue the amazing cinematic career that was Philip Seymour Hoffman?”. Well the answer in short is, justice is done, however when you see some of the most amazing roles he has previously been in, you kind of feel as though it would have been nice if his final role was something a little more challenging. For the most part he is a wallflower that adorns the scenery but you certainly get the feeling this has potentially more to do with him not being around to do pick up shoots (Additionally filming after the principal photography is finished)

The rest of the cast do okay, with the exception of Josh Hutcherson who brings the menacing in the form of the hijacked Peeta, the rest are really just okay. Yet in a film like this, that in itself is okay. I have heard many say that the Mockingjay book felt rushed and as if the writer was suitably upset at having to finish a book by a set deadline and hence started slashing characters and rushing through events in order to bring about a conclusion. Perhaps it relates to the final book being cut into two films, but the films do not have that specific feel. They have been in general well paced and rather enjoyable to watch. I think that even though the concept of the first one with its Hunger Games and getting young people to kill each other was a massive shock to the system these last two films are certainly even darker and they have outdone themselves in giving the story somewhere to go other than just repeating itself.

The Verdict
With the exception of this Hollywood tagged on “argh” ending for teenage girls, this is a pretty good film full to the brim of crazy action and a stack load of stuff happening… It’s long but until the final scenes didn’t feel it.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 19th November 2015
Rating: M – Contains violence, horror scenes and content that may disturb
Duration: 137 minutes 
Genre:  Action
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Director: Francis Lawrence (Mockingjay Part 1, Catching Fire, Water For Elephants)

The Extras
Considered by director, Francis Lawrence, as the most violent Hunger Games film out of the 4. Liam Hemsworth said that this film "might be the best in the series" and "never lets up" in its action.

Philip Seymour Hoffman's final film.

Director Francis Lawrence stated that because some of the visual effects sequences in this film are so challenging, he and the editors began work on them before part 1 of the Mockingjay adaptation was even released.

The new Mockingjay logo for Part 2 can be found at the end of Mockingjay Part 1 after the end credits.

Gwendoline Christie replaced actress Lily Rabe as the Commander Lyme character in the film. Rabe was forced drop out due to a scheduling conflict with a previous commitment to perform in "Much Ado about Nothing" at Shakespeare in the Park.

There were plans to release the film globally in 3D, but they were ultimately scrapped for the U.S. release.

The first line heard from Mockingjay Part 2 was Katniss's line, "Tonight, turn your weapons to the Capitol!" This was released with a teaser trailer showing the Mockingjay logo transform from the original Mockingjay in the first movie all the way to the new Mockingjay in Mockingjay Part 2.

On February 6, 2015, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer revealed that there could be a potential fifth film in The Hunger Games franchise - a sequel or a prequel.

Many of the Capitol scenes were shot in Paris and Berlin.

The movie features 5 Academy Award Nominated Actors who have a total of 15 nominations total. The actors are Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle), Woody Harrleson (The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Messenger), Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, The Hours, Far From Heaven, and Still Alice), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, Doubt, Charlie Wilson's War, and The Master), and Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones). Of the 15 performances, 3 are Oscar-winning ones: Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote (2005), Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and Julianne Moore for Still Alice (2014).