The last installment of the “Hunger Games” films, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2,” has hit theaters with the lowest opening weekend of any movie in the franchise. According to CNN, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2” brought in only $101 million in the U.S. Despite mixed reviews, it is the end of the popular, dystopia trilogy. The fourth film concludes the storyline of Katniss Everdeen, the victor from District 12.
Fans of the books will be happy with how close the film is to the book. Fans of just the movies will be on the edge of their seat, wondering who will make it out alive in the end. The film begins exactly where “Mockingjay, Part 1” left off, with Katniss shaken from her scary encounter with her “hijacked” friend/sort of lover, Peeta. Hijacking is explained as a form of torture where you train someone to think the opposite about someone or something. Basically, Peeta blames Katniss for everything and wants her dead. Peeta’s struggle with regaining himself is a constant theme throughout the film, resulting in both crazy and tender moments with Katniss.
Katniss is focused on taking out the enemy – President Snow. But she can’t just walk out of District 13 and head to the Capitol because she is the Mockingjay and the face of the rebellion. Katniss is recommended by President Coin, the leader of the rebellion and District 13, to continue to shoot promos and rally the other districts to fight against President Snow. Katniss is not one to follow orders and usually does what she wants. This type of attitude makes her stubborn and forces people away, but also shows her bravery to the ones who lack it themselves.
Despite the heavy war and military presence in the film, there are some light-hearted scenes that take back from the seriousness of the situation. Finnick and Annie, who were previous victors of the games and were separated when President Snow kidnapped Annie (along with Peeta and Johanna), get married in a beautiful ceremony held in District 13. Even though Peeta is extremely brainwashed to hate Katniss when he is rescued, over time, he begins to remember who he was and what his true feelings for Katniss were. After a heart wrenching moment showing the fate of one of the beloved characters, Katniss and Peeta share a tender moment that will make any viewer believe that no matter what has happened in the past, everything will work out in the end.
For someone who is a fan of both the books and films, I thought that “Mockingjay, Part 1” was a pointless movie. In my opinion, nothing worthwhile happened and they could have just made one, final movie, instead of two parts. But on the other hand, this last film had enough content to be its own film of almost two and a half hours long. So much happened that I didn’t even remember because it felt like years since I read the books. I was exchanging comments with my friends about everything that was happening, from people dying that we didn’t remember, to characters from other movies/TV series that had cameos in the final film (Gwendoline Christie from Game of Thrones), and guessing what was going to happen with the epilogue at the end.
Personally, I am a little disappointed in some of the reviews I have read for “Mockingjay, Part 2.” Despite Katniss being standoffish and slightly ungrateful, I thought Jennifer Lawrence gave one of her best performances of the character in this film. Moviepilot’s review of the film writes that most critics are missing the “real world value” of the film in regards to the political power struggles in Panem. The real life situations that can be pulled from this fictional story are astonishing. Unfortunately, I do have one negative about the movie. The epilogue was a little cheesy, even though it’s exactly the scene I had hoped for. A different way of approaching the very end could have been done, preventing my friends from cracking up during the whole ending. I won’t spoil anything, but I would be curious as to how people react to that immensely built up part of the film.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2” is worth seeing, even if it was a bad movie, because it’s the final time we will see Katniss, Peeta, Gale and the others on screen. The film is almost exact to the books and shouldn’t disappoint fans. “Mockingjay, Part 2” proves that there can be a balance between seriousness and humor, even if they didn’t mean for parts to be humorous (the epilogue, for example). I hope that the film ends up doing better in the box office and more positive reviews come because this is one series that deserves praise.
Despite the media’s negative reviews, I give the film 4.5/5 stars.