The Hunger Games film series is at an end with the release of the second part of the final film this week. Fans will likely be flocking the the big screens to see how it all ends, although most will probably already know if they’ve read the books (but the film is still a decent experience regardless of this). This film sees the return of director Fancis Lawrence who has worked on all of the Hunger Games films except the first one, as well as the films stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore.
The main draw factor for seeing this film is to find out what happens in the end of the series and also to get back to see what happens after the cliffhanger ending that Mockingjay Part 1 left us to deal with for a whole year until now. It doesn’t disappoint, with things picking up right where they left off. But later on as the film progresses, we as the viewer follow Katniss into the depths of the war between district 13 and the Capitol. It’s brutal, it’s tragic, it’s intense and also very dark.
The violence level in Mockingjay Part 2 seems to have been upped as high as they could go with people blowing up, being eaten and shot. Looking back on the series and in particular the first two films in comparison, the tone certainly has changed. Of course the context of the story has changed as well with this being a more war focused film and the first 2 being one of the surviving the hunger games, but it can really be felt here, but it’s not over the top in any way, it’s not gory at all, it’s just a lot darker than I had anticipated.
In terms of the actors, we already know and have seen how all of them perform throughout the series. Jennifer Lawrence is the standout of the film, especially during the intense emotional scenes in which she really made an impact. Donald Sutherland was just a joy to watch, I love a good villain and took notice of Donald Sutherland’s evil grinning while speaking to Katniss and both Jennifer Lawrence and Donald Sutherland acted superbly when opposite each other. It was also a nice surprise to see Philip Seymour Hoffman on the big screen, mistakenly I had thought he would not be appearing in Part 2 due to his death last year close to the release of Part 1, but he has a few scenes here for you all to see should you go along.
Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) and Liam Hemsworth (Gale) seemed to come off as both equally annoying but luckily their scenes were minimal. Julianne Moore was interesting, but maybe could have had more scenes to make a bigger impact with this point being the same for Natalie Dormer and Mahershala Ali who both also had only a few scenes.
The only issue I have with this film is that by the end of it, I had a feeling that I was kind of over The Hunger Games experience, in the same way I felt when I read the book series, I loved the first two, but once I got onto the third book, I kind of wanted to finish up with it and being my least favourite book of the series, this experience lasted for two years. It’s a well made film but maybe didn’t need two parts, but probably the film studio’s needed more money and that’s probably more important.
If you’re going into this film for the action aspect or the big budget scenes, this film does deliver on those with zombie like creatures, exploding arrows, bomb explosions and many more, with a lot more action in this film compared to Mockingjay Part 1.
Costumes are still creative with a variety of characters still dressing up in the style of the Capitol that many fans will remember from the previous films. But with the darker tone that this film has, outfits appear to have changed to reflect that with most characters wearing predominantly grey or black.
Overall The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is a solid conclusion to the series that brings with it a much darker tone as well some great performances from Jennifer Lawrence and Donald Sutherland. The film does feel a bit stretched with the final book being split in two, which may leave some people wanting things to wrap up quickly, but it makes up for it with a lot more action scenes than you would expect. If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games it’s definitely recommended that you go along and see how it all ends, you just may not leave with a blown away great film feeling, but it’s still alright in the end.