Based on the third book of the Hunger Games series written by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay Part 2 is an enjoyable ride that suffers a lot of similar problems as the first part. Despite jarring pacing issues, Mockingjay Part 2 provides a satisfying conclusion to the young adult franchise.
Picking up where Part 1 left off, Panem is at war as Katniss Everdeen played by Jennifer Lawrence, is a reluctant leader of a rebellion that aims to unite the Districts to take on the Capital, and kill President Snow played by Donald Sutherland.
The first act starts with Katniss still in District 13 reeling from the discovery that her friend Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson, had been tortured and hijacked by tracker Jacker Venom. This has left him wanting her dead convinced she is to blame for the war in Panem.
This franchise would not have worked as well as it has without Jennifer Lawrence in the lead. Her liability and strength as Katniss has helped carry the franchise since the first film and it is no different here, she plays a character that is left numb with grief.
Josh Hutcherson has also come a long way since the first film as Peeta; here he was given much more to do as an actor. Playing someone psycholocally damaged by war, and not knowing who he is. His performance was touching and believable. Some of the best scenes in the film where scenes where he is speaking to Katniss trying to work out what is and isn’t real.
Some of the action set pieces in this film are also brilliant, particularly sequences in the capital in the final act. There was a sequence in particular where Katniss and her team are forced to travel through underground tunnels and sewers. The use of jump scares and music to create tension was great and really set up the scenes that followed making the characters more desperate as they realised there was no turning back.
Concluding a franchise is not easy, but the film does a great job of wrapping up all loose ends, and giving each character a satisfying end sticking very close to the source material.
A lot of the problems the film has however are to do with pacing, particularly the first hour of the film. Much like with Mockingjay Part 1, the plot seemed far too stretched out were not a lot happens in the first hour and at times it seemed the film was taking itself far too seriously, which made certain scenes slow with not a lot happening.
After seeing both parts of Mockingjay it appeared to be unnecessary to split the book into two parts, as there wasn’t enough story to stretch over two films. The way the film would jump from slow scenes talking about Peeta to the amazing chase underground was too jarring, and it affected the momentum of the film.
What Mockingjay Part 2 is most effective at is showing the consequences of war and the commentary it provides on how war affects people. While Katines is involved, she doesn’t really have a direct influence on what happens, she is reluctantly involved and suffers greatly through out the films. Which is a credit to the strength of the source material and the director Francis Lawrence.
Mockingjay Part 2 is an enjoyable ride that whilst suffers with pacing problems, brings the young adult franchise to a definitive unique conclusion.
By Simon Hanson