I have a weird history with The Hunger Games franchise. While I liked the first film well enough, I walked out at about the hour mark, not once but 3 times. I enjoyed the story, characters and the build up but the shaky cam literally made me sick. Lionsgate read my review and put me on double secret probation. It’s not my fault the movie sucked, get a thicker skin. I liked the 2nd one well enough, but it felt like a pointless rehash of the first one.
Mockingjay Part 1 seemed to be treading water and now we have Mockingjay Part 2. The ship has finally sunk in a slow, torturous 2 hours + slog. One of the worst franchise ending films I’ve ever seen. A four year, nearly 9-hour journey and THIS is what it all amounted to? Are you kidding me? No really, is this some sort of joke on the movie going public?
The only saving grace for the film is there’s no tedious backstory this time out. After being attacked by Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) at the end of the last installment, we find our doe eyed hero Katniss Everdeen, (Jennifer Lawrence) sitting in a hospital bed trying to talk with a swollen larynx. She spends the first few minutes of the film just whispering and staring at the camera.
There is zero urgency, drive, motivation or much of anything on display in the first hour of this movie. Which, would have been fine if it was a beginning and director Francis Lawrence wanted to do some world building, but I’m sorry, this is the final film, we know the world, move on.
Right away the film put me off. This is the conclusion to a 4-part epic and it starts so quiet and slow that I kept thinking, the pace has to pick up at some point. An hour into the film I realized, this is what it is. Almost nothing happens. Some talking, some moping, way too many “Oh, poor Peetas,” and a couple of “lets send the Mockingjay out to rally the troupes,” which Katniss doesn’t even do this time out. Not one moving, speech from the supposed “icon.”
Why is Katniss/Lawrence even in this movie? Yeah she looks great and badass in the black suit, but she doesn’t do a damn thing in the first 60 minutes of this thing. Considering this entire franchise is supposedly about Katniss, you could completely remove her character from this final installment and you wouldn’t much notice, nor care that she’s gone.
The climax of the 3rd act doesn’t even involve her! My jaw hung open in a WTF did I just watch expression. The entire story progression stops with the resolution TOLD to Katniss – TOLD. TO. HER! Not shown to the audience, TOLD to our supposed hero because she got herself knocked out during the climax. WHAT? No, really? WHAT. THE. HELL?
I won’t even get into the ridiculous monsters and genetic mutations that just crop up out of nowhere – even though the previous 3 films never established that the possibility of mutated creatures even existed in this world.There was a pointless wedding scene that felt completely out of place, I didn’t know, nor care who the two people were who got married.
Nor will I mention how empty the entire world felt. They constantly talked about all the districts uniting and storming the capitol but we never saw it. All we saw was Katniss and her small nameless group of canon fodder running around in a boring, bland, looking soundstage full of CGI backdrops. I swear for a billion-dollar franchise, Lionsgate did not spend any money on this last film. I’ve seen better production values on SyFy channel shows.
The last 20 minutes of this torture fest consists of people telling Katniss what happened and then discussing what’s next, when someone actually says hey, “let’s have another HUNGER GAMES!” I literally groaned out loud. The movie never seems to want to end, even though they don’t even SHOW us the “ending battle.” This entire four picture ordeal was completely unnecessary and could have easily been condensed into two extended length films.
Final Grade F