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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Review: fizzles out

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is a boring and disappointing end to an otherwise promising and harrowing Young Adult series that used to push the boundaries and comment on society. With this final instalment, it overstays its welcome with a hefty 2 hour 17 minute runtime and offers little in solace.

Mockingjay – Part 2 finds the rebellion reuniting Peeta with Katniss and mounting a final battle to the death against the Capitol and President Snow. Katniss and a band of soldiers travel into the Capitol but come face to face with traps designed by the Hunger Games’ game-makers.

Story – C-

The Hunger Games - Mockingjay - Part 2 poster

The very first Hunger Games was inherently a free for all. It suitably introduced this despondent and troubled world and set up some intriguing characters and narrative arcs. And when the leads found themselves in the cornucopia it transformed into a pressure-filled action nail biter with human character. Catching Fire took that and amplified it into something special. Mockingjay – Part 1 took that special idea and stomped all over it with half a story where nothing happened at all. Mockingjay – Part 2 takes after its first part more than it does the first two instalments. It is a bore-fest that actually calls out the incandescently annoying need for Katniss to pick between Peeta and Gale in a teenage fit whilst moving the story forward at a snail’s pace. Some character decisions are absolutely nonsensical, some coincidences are startlingly in your face and characters you love, like Effy and Haymitch, are thrown into the narrative abyss.

Acting – C+

Whilst Jennifer Lawrence is an Academy Award winning actress, she does nothing here. Part of this is down to the utterly horrendous dialogue she has been given – which range from ugly cry to pensive stare – but Lawrence is visibly phoning it in. she doesn’t try to bring layers or believability to her performance, knowing that if she walks through this film, she is done with the franchise that made her name. The saving performances, as is the case with Hunger Games, come from Josh Hutcherson and Donald Sutherland. Sutherland continues to be gloriously evil and slimy as President Snow and whilst its birth is silly, Snow’s last laugh is a thing of beauty. But it is the surprisingly haunting performance of Peeta from Hutcherson that truly steals to show. He shakes and ticks, smashes and mystifies in the role and does great things with the arc he was given.

The Hunger Games doesn’t end with a triumphant arrow hitting its target. Instead, the promising franchise fizzles out without fanfare or flare aside from the flickering lights held by Sutherland and Hutcherson.

Score – C

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