Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

In association with the Grosvenor


It’s hard not to be bowled over by the final instalment of the Hunger Games films. Mockingjay Part 2 is everything you’d expect it to be – a huge, stirring picture of heroism, sacrifice and mass uprising against injustice.

In a way it’s almost too easy to embrace the great wave of revolutionary fervour that Mockingjay plunges us into. Of course, gratuitous explosions, melodramatic tension and prolonged, tear-jerky close-ups of the actors’ faces are still at the forefront of this action-adventure blockbuster, but Mockingjay Pt 2 certainly deserves credit for sending out a message that’s genuinely progressive, and for doing so with a degree of integrity and social awareness.

It’s about time the mass media embraced a hero whose marginalized status, relatable values and contempt for authority in all its guises make her (yes, her,) a pop-culture icon worth having a stake in. We get all this and more in Katniss Everdeen, tough backwoods survivor turned reluctant revolution leader. Jennifer’s Lawrence’s role is more generous than ever, giving the versatile star a chance to explore the complexity of Katniss’s emotional life, as well as a solid dose of her famous bad-assery.

The film also has plenty of well-rounded supporting roles, which takes the edge off the hinted love triangle. For female representation it’s almost second to none, with more gritty, intelligent and compassionate female characters than probably every other Blockbuster over the past year combined, and it’s also encouraging to see some ethnic diversity in the cast.

Splitting Suzanne Collins’s novel into two parts for the film franchise is a decision that doesn’t go to waste either. The film fleshes out parts of the plot that felt rushed and underdeveloped in the book, an unusual accomplishment for an adaptation. The action is convincing, nail-biting stuff, and the impressive scale of the world-building finally comes into its own after being somewhat glossed-over in the previous films.

As the culminating chapter in a long, intense franchise, Mockingjay Pt 2 should be commended for keeping up the momentum, and even increasing it. Loyalties clash, psychological battles are fought out and the nature of the game becomes ever more deadly. Fans won’t be disappointed by what has to be the most compelling film of the lot.

[Cat Acheson – @cat_acheson]

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