June 21, 2016

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part II (2015)

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, et al

Don't worry, I'm not going to take this opportunity to rant (once again) about unnecessarily splitting the finale of movie franchises into multiple films. Nor am I going to rant (once again) about the casting of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. That ship has sailed.

Instead, I want to focus on how little actually happened in this movie. (What do you know, I guess it will be about it being split into two movies.) While I surprisingly enjoyed the first half of Mockingjay, this second installment just didn't have enough left. Sure, it shows the conclusion of the entire franchise and we finally get an answer to the question of whether Katniss will choose mini-Peeta and his poorly bleached hair or Gale and his sudden decline in ethics, but it's slow. Even with the occasional explosion.

Also, I realize it's a sequel, and the second half of a book, but there's not much to differentiate it from Part 1. And the movie begins exactly where Part 1 left off with no recap of any kind, so it's basically like one long ass movie. Except that they were released a year apart. So yeah, I'm still not over the decision to split it up.

I read the books forever ago, so it's difficult to remember, but I recall Mockingjay to be much more strategic and political than this movie portrays. It shows flashes of manipulation by several key people, but it's so subtle I wonder if I would have missed it entirely if I didn't already know what happened. Instead, the majority of the movie played out like a very very tamed down version of The Hurt Locker.

In the search for positive take aways, however, I've realized that Liam Hemsworth is more attractive than I initially gave him credit for. So there's that. I'm not rushing out to rent The Last Song or anything, but I'm happy there's one more attractive face in Hollywood I can't escape anyway. Then again, he might have just seemed good looking in comparison to Josh Hutcherson.

And the complaint comes full circle.

Final word: I'm relieved the trilogy is over.

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