Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone, Mahershala Ali, Willow Shields, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Paula Malcomson, Natalie Dormer, Evan Ross, Elden Henson, Wes Chatham, Patina Miller, Michelle Forbes, Gwendoline Christie
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
I would say some liberties were taken from the book, I believe. Its honestly been so long since I read Mockingjay, but I do believe there is a character who dies in the film that had an “off screen” death in the book (meaning, Katniss wasn’t present), and has a much more distinguished finish in the movie. Johanna’s arc is also a bit different. She’s marginalized here, for reasons unknown. I guess “one more person” following Katniss on her journey would have weighed them down. Otherwise, it’s a really faithful adaptation. Seriously, the Divergent series could take note. They even kept in all of the “uncomfortable” moments, and the deaths of beloved characters. They had all the opportunities in the world to change key plot points, but they didn’t. I automatically give them props for that.
Mockingjay pt 2 is all the action that Mockingjay pt 1 lacked. It’s the conclusion, and it’s actually a rather fierce conclusion. It’s actually now my favorite film in the franchise. It allows Jennifer Lawrence to really show her range, something she’s gotten better at doing since the first film, as well as Hutcherson and Hemsworth, both who have to hold her up at various times in the story. The supporting cast offers solid performances too, from Malone, Sutherland, and Hoffman to more supporting characters like Elden Henson, whose silent bravery does not go unnoticed in this entry.
This is the film Hunger Games fans have been asking for, and I think they delivered. I wish we had had a few more minutes to “wrap up” some of the characters. That’s really my only problem. Because the series has amassed such a massive ensemble over four films, I felt some of the series characters got shoved out. Caesar’s fate is left to the imagination, Effie is barely in this film, and while it was nice to see Game Of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie, she’s in the film for about a minute. Also, the “closure” between Gale and Katniss just doesn’t cut it for fans who were hoping she’d pick him in the end.
Small nitpicky things, I know. It’s just shy of being a perfect way to finish the franchise.
Lots of action, lots of acting, and really good direction and pacing keep Mockingjay pt 2 from feeling like a bunch of deleted scenes from the first film. Francis Lawrence hopefully can find himself a good followup to this.
FINAL GRADE: A-