“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” is a worthy and a mostly satisfying final chapter to the Hunger Games series; a series that has given us some very good movies since 2012.
The first film introduced us to a frightening world where teens fight to the death for entertainment in a dystopian society. The next installment, 2013’s “Catching Fire” was a sequel that I thought surpassed the original on every level and still remains the best of the four.
Last year’s “Mockingjay — Part 1” took the story to new heights where Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen was beginning her revolution against the Capitol and it ended in cliffhanger fashion with Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark still brainwashed by the Capitol and Katniss still having feelings for him.
There’s not a lot of action in this film, but there is one sequence involving the characters going underground in attempt to invade the Capitol until they’re ambushed by some zombie-looking creatures known as Mutts. This sequence does supply genuine atmosphere and suspense.
Perhaps the most intriguing characters in this finale are Donald Sutherland’s charming, sinister and incredibly powerful President Snow and Julianne Moore’s President Alma Coin, the leader who supports Katniss and the revolution. In this film, they both display attributes that make them have a shade of grey.
Fans of the books, as well as the films, will want to go ahead and get their credit hours and graduate with this rousing conclusion. For fans of the films but not the books, there will be at least one hugely unexpected surprise toward the end and we do get a thoroughly satisfying resolution, but it still doesn’t deliver for a finale like it should.
It doesn’t quite possess the intelligence or imagination of the previous films and there are no action scenes to rival the Quarter Quell sequence of “Catching Fire.” Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings knew how to end their series on a tremendously high note. This one falls short compared to them.
Nevertheless, there’s been nothing but strong, compelling performances from all the actors involved including Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Elizabeth Banks, and the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. They should all forever be proud of this four-film epic.
(Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.