Not a waste, and there are even some surprises, but this final installment of the Hunger Games is a bit of a letdown. Of course it has a more bitter than sweet ending, and of course Jennifer Lawrence continues to give all she’s got to a character she’s grown into a superstar playing, but some of the beats feel perfunctory and the momentum of the story was trounced by dividing it into two films released a year apart. There are quirky moments of color that would have made more sense had they been embellishments in a larger narrative (like a genetically altered leonine woman who aids the resistance in infiltrating the booby-trapped first District), now padded into running on too long. It will play better once you’ve got the blu-rays of course, and Katniss makes a smart move by infiltrating the initiative against the Capital on her own when ordered to stand down by General Coyne (an icy and unlovable Julianne Moore). The greater presence of Phillip Seymour Hoffmann is missed, as what could have been a bravura scene is reduced to a letter read out loud in absentia, but the filmmakers make the best of the footage they have. While the love triangle between the girl on fire and Peeta and Gayle is mostly a given, it’s the sacrifices of the former players along the way that make the biggest impact. There’s a strong cameo from science fiction goddess Michelle Forbes as a tougher than brass Lt. Jackson who holds her own with a righteous Jennifer Lawrence, and a stylish turn from Natalie Dormer as the videographer of the battles. Funny lines come from the wary Johanna, the wizened Haymitch, and even from the likes of Finnick, who gets to announce their suicide obstacle run as the final Hunger Games of all. Which it is, rigged with bombs and propaganda and old friends on vid and black oil that is somehow piercing and creatures that have been bred for mindless combat and more conventional weapons like soldiers, guns, cannons, tanks and aerial bombardment. None of it stands a chance against a girl with a quiver. President Snow acts with complete confidence even as his losses mount, and Donald Sutherland gets in some barbs and ironic guffaws with all the flourish needed. He’s especially effective in the final sequence in the Capital, with two scenes opposite J-Law after the rebellion is over and the politicians immediately come out to play. Katniss ends up back in District 13 in the house she won in the first battle, coping with loss and very slowly putting some kind of life back together. I’ve been seeing these things every late November for years now, and while I looked forward to this one and am happy I went, the most exciting one was probably the second one, which had a better mix of action and passion than this more sentimental wrapping up. All the survivors get their goodbye scenes, by the numbers, but whether the new order is any better than the old is not explored. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015)Shawn's Rating3.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.