‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ vividly ends film series


Despite the hype, or lack thereof, for “Mockingjay Part 2,” the last film of the “Hunger Games” series eloquently wrapped up the onslaught built up in the previous films. Released Nov. 20, ‘Mockingjay Part 2’ opened to an estimated $275 million over the weekend.

Leading up to the final movie, the audience was introduced to a futuristic society corrupted by the extremes of capitalist and communist societies. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has been announced the Mockingjay and therefore, leader of the rebellion against President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) “Capitol.” She faces obstacles such as a love triangle between Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and the brainwashing of Peeta, but she has one ultimate goal: to assassinate President Snow.

Thankfully, the romantic conflict died down to focus on the crisis at hand, only to come to a predictable yet settling close, rest assured. The redemption of Panem is a result of a debatable twist. Viewers should be prepared for the death of nearly every beloved character, gripping-the-seat action and sighs of relief.

With the absence of the children-killing-children aspect comes new gore to live up to the PG-13 rating. Katniss and her “star team” are faced with floods of black oil, zombie-like creatures and multiple gunshot wounds that seem gorier yet not as realistic as the violence portrayed in earlier films.

The film introduces new characters, and some familiar faces gain larger roles. Gale accompanies Katniss on expeditions as he did in “Mockingjay: Part 1,” but finally shares scenes with Peeta. Let’s just say Peeta was well deserving of Katniss’s eternal love over stale, passive-aggressive Gale. Hutcherson does a fine job portraying a tracker-jacker infected prisoner of war who learns to love again. His recurring line of “Real or not real?” allows the audience to sympathize and root for him despite Gale’s lingering presence and Peeta’s out-of-mind state.

As far as Plutarch Heavensbee’s (Philip Seymour Hoffman) role, the filmmakers were resourceful in popping him into scenes with as few lines as possible. In place of his closing conversation with Katniss at the Capitol, Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) delivers and recites a letter written by Heavensbee. The filmmakers were sure to pay tribute to the beloved gamemaker, of whom the audience is left wondering about his true intentions.

As each film progresses, the audience sees a larger form of the Games occur, and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” is the game that brings the previous to an end with layers of romance, comedy, action and sorrow.