Mockingjay: Part II review


The latest installment in the trend of making a movie a “two parter” is the last film in the Hunger Games series, “Mockingjay Part II.” Jennifer Lawrence suits up and grabs a bow for the last time, portraying Katniss Everdeen, the face of a rebellion against the overpowering, cruel Capitol.

“Mockingjay Part I” was the lull before the storm that is Part II. Part I was a more character-building type of film that focused on the inner workings between the characters as well as the politics of the world in which the films live.

“Mockingjay Part II” doesn’t do away totally with the development of the characters, but being the climactic film of the series, a lot of time isn’t dedicated to it. The development that is given is mainly to Josh Hutcherson’s character Peeta, while Katniss plays very much the same role she does in the previous films. What I’m talking about goes like this: Katniss wants to do something based on emotion, authority figures say, “No you can’t do that,” then Katniss does what she wants anyway.

The main focus of the movie is of Katniss and her squad going into the Capitol and filming propaganda pieces to fuel the revolution. This soon turns into something more when a series of events results in the group being more involved in the invasion of the Capitol than intended. That being said, once it hits the fan, the action is fairly frequent.

The action is filmed well in that you can tell what is going on, even when the scenes get intense. There is a scene where the group is inside an underground tunnel, which could be disorienting, but it’s shot steadily and edited in a way that you know where everyone is at all times.

Another thing that the film does that the entire series does well is that it gives just enough attention to the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale, who is played by Liam Hemsworth. The first and foremost story that is given attention is the plot of Katniss’ role in leading the revolution against the Capitol. The romantic plot is given enough attention that it doesn’t overshadow the main purpose of the movie.

Everyone does a good job in their roles once again. I feel like Lawrence has outgrown this role in a sense, and it’s good to see it being wrapped up. Josh Hutcherson steps up in the movie and really holds his own, especially in scenes where he has extensive monologues.

Visually, I found the movie effective. Specifically, there is a scene in the movie where the people of the Capitol are being evacuated and things take a turn for the worse. In this scene there are some striking instances that reminded me of World War II. People gathered in one place being preyed upon; dull overall tone of gray; a child crying next to her dead mother. This film had the most intense visuals of the entire series.

The ending of the film could have been shortened. You think that the movie is going to end, but then it turns to another scene and another and another. The film ties everything together nicely but could have done it in a more efficient way.

The lack of dedication to the characters and more to action, Katniss’ one-dimensionality and the long ending are the main weak points in an otherwise enjoyable ending to an overall engaging series.

“Mockingjay Part II” is playing at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday; 4, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday; 4, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the Union Cinema.

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