The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 marks the end of the film series based on the Hunger Games novel trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Three years after the first film in 2012, the fourth and final Hunger Games movie neither steps up in quality nor sinks lower. You can expect the same feel with this Hunger Games movie as the previous three. And given that those other movies are good movies, you can be assured that this one stays at that level and, consequently, my rating of this movie is the same.
There's no need for me to provide a quick recap of the last movie or another overview of Panem, the Capitol, and the Districts. If you're watching this movie, chances are that you're already familiar with all of that. Hence, I will dive straight into the plot of this movie. There are really just two things that are the focus here. One, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and the rebellion are closer to defeating President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Two, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) has been brainwashed and corrupted by the Capitol, and there's no telling if he can regain his sense of who he is and who his real friends and enemies are.
In the beginning, there is discussion of military strategy, including methods such as propaganda to lure Capitol residents into joining the rebellion, aerial attacks to distract Capitol forces, and a stealth approach. Katniss's role is ultimately with the stealth squad. She and a band of other warriors must carefully trek through the Capitol towards Snow's mansion. The President has all sorts of elaborate and deadly traps installed at many spots in the Capitol, but thanks to previously gathered intelligence, the team has a holographic map of the locations of the traps, at least the ones they're aware of. Much of the journey involves marching forward without being detected and fighting back when threats come their way.
Even though this is the final Hunger Games movie, there isn't a grand amount of action. Rather, just enough to make it an action movie. Still, when there is action, it's good, and it certainly gets your attention. There are also moments in the action where a bit of suspense of thrown in, particularly in a scene set in dark underground tunnels. I will admit that it's nice to see an action movie like this one where the action has a purpose and not merely thrown in for the sake of providing eye candy.
Because you don't have a grand amount of action, there is more room for human drama, which mainly consists of Katniss and the feelings she experiences when she is confronted with tough decisions, the consequences of her choices, and unexpected tragedy. It gets especially interesting when her goal of defeating President Snow is within reach. How does it all end? Obviously, I won't say, but I will note that there is one unexpected surprise that helps this movie avoid a totally conventional finale.
So there you have it. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Par 2 provides a decent end to an interesting series. Not the greatest film series ever, but certainly one that maintains an acceptable level of quality all the way through. Having not read the Hunger Games book trilogy, I appreciate having a film adaptation series that gives me a good sense of what made those books bestsellers to begin with. Best of all, I can understand how the adolescent audience can appreciate thrilling stories written specifically for them. Just as Harry Potter captivated the hearts and minds of many, Katniss Everdeen is a notable hero in young adult fiction.
Anthony's Rating: 7/10
(Review originally published at http://www.anthonysfilmreview.com/Film/H/The_Hunger_Games_Mockingjay_Part_2.htm)