My sister Linda and I had the opportunity this evening to watch the final installment in the Hunger Games franchise. Although I have not read the books that this series is based upon, I have seen all the movies, most of them with my sister.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, henceforth called Mockingjay 2, stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The adventure sci-fi was directed by Francis Lawrence and is based on the novels by Suzanne Collins. Mockingjay 2 is rated PG-13, for adult themes and violence, and has a run time of 2 hours and 17 minutes.
Picking up exactly where Mockingjay Part 1 ended, the film continues the saga of young heroine Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence). Having survived previous Hunger Games and unrest and war in the Distrcts, Katniss has become the face of the rebellion. Accompanied by a select group of highly trained warriors, Katniss heads toward the Capitol, with the goal of taking out President Snow (Surherland), the man that she blames for the turbulence in Panem.
Katniss has the backing of President Coin (Moore), leader of the freed districts that are seeking unity. And the quiet support of former games developer Plutarch Heavensbee (Hoffman) and her old friend and mentor Haymitch (Harrelson). President Coin uses Katniss to create propaganda films to rally and continue to unite the refugees from the districts.
But Katniss is single minded in her determination to bring peace to Panem by ridding it of the leadership that would control an entire population by taking children from each district and pitting them against each other in the Games. All that Katniss holds dear is at stake as she fights her way to the Capitol, in a final Hunger Games type display . Her family. Her country. Her freedom. And the two men that she holds most dear, Peeta (Hutcherson) with whom she formed an alliance during the Hunger Games. And Gale (Hemsworth), her childhood love.
Since I had not read the books, and I’ve avoided spoilers, I had no idea how this story was going to end. Because of that, this was an intense movie for me! There were high action sequences, with enough random explosions and things that jumped out at the troop of characters, that I stayed on edge. I twitched several times. And I had no idea who would survive until the end. In my estimation, no character was safe, no matter how important.
Overall, it was a very satisfying conclusion to a great story. There were twists and turns, angst, heartbreak, and difficult decisions. And ultimately courage to face what must be faced to create a new world where everyone, especially the youngest citizens of Panem, were free to pursue their own lives and live in peace. It was touching to see Philip Seymour Hoffman again in his final film. I appreciated him as an actor.
A big thumbs up for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2…and another drawn out series comes to a close. From the many previews shown before the movie started, there appears to be more great movies on the way. I’m always game for that. See you at the movies!