Thursday, November 19, 2015

Movie Review: Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2

I’ll give it to AMC for hosting a double-feature for the final two movies.  I honestly didn’t remember what happened in the last movie.  I read the books, years ago, and beware there are SPOILERS ahead.  The biggest spoiler, though, is knowing that the movie stayed pretty closed to the characters who don’t make it to the end credits.  Some of the details I was a bit fuzzy on, but that’s to be expected with a book I wasn’t crazy about.

If you’re not familiar, the world of Panem is under fire and our heroine, Katniss Everdeen (played ably by JLaw, for once, I’m not a fan), is losing her mind and has to decide whether to continue to back the morally questionable President Coin (Julianne Moore has an Academy Award).  The two are often clashing, but the story does focus more on Katniss trying to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) as well as overthrowing that little thing called the established order in their world.  The novel was much more concise, in some ways, even if I skimmed the last 50 pages of the book.

While the special effects are beyond belief, especially given the rich world Suzanne Collins has created, the story still seemed empty.  And while I’m not a huge fan of Jennifer Lawrence, this was, by far, her best performance in this series since the opening movie, and even that entry was passable at times.  The supporting cast seemed to meld better together, or perhaps the story came together better, I’m not sure.  I can’t say I enjoyed Mockingjay Part 1 all that much, but this one was nice just to have closure.

With these bigger blockbusters, I can’t help delving down the well-trodden path about diversity.  For those of us that have read the books, Katniss wasn’t supposed to be white, so there’s strike one for this series from the beginning.  That isn’t to say that Lawrence doesn’t do a good job bringing Katniss to life, but it does make one wonder how Hollywood couldn’t find someone to match the book.  I also do take some issue in the fact that Katniss seems to only be romantically interested in people based on how useful they are or have been to her.  It isn’t until she sees Peeta completely destroyed because of her that she gets an ounce of self-awareness.  The whole movie reeks of Twilight vibes in a lot of ways.  Yes, I do realise there is a major political undertone in the books, but the movies focuse on whether Peeta or Gale will win Katniss over?  How is that not Twilight?  This series could have been great, could have been Potter great, but it got lost somewhere along the way.

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