Opening November 19, 2015
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Writing credits: Peter Craig, Danny Strong, Suzanne Collins
Principle actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright
Wasting no time, director Francis Lawrence jumps in where Part 1 ended. Katniss a.k.a. Mockingjay’s (Lawrence) neck brace is removed; previously, during Peeta’s (Hutcherson) rescue he—influenced by tracker jack venom—strangled her unconscious. Now, despite Katniss’ pleas, Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman) will only let her watch someone Peeta trusts talking to him. But, instead, Primrose (Willow Shields) incites Peeta’s anger against her sister. Like a good chess game moving toward an imminent climax, President Coin (Moore) shrewdly orders the combined thirteen districts rebel forces into position. The one player to defy is Katniss. “I, of all people, know it’s always personal.” Friends and allies—Gale (Hemsworth), Cressida (Dormer), Finnick (Claflin), Pollux (Elden Henson), and Peeta—support Katniss. Haymitch (Harrelson) astutely gages her mood. Concurrently, Katniss and Peeta’s conversations improve – “Real, or not real?”
Meanwhile, propaganda maestro Caesar (Stanley Tucci) manipulates, whilst Panem’s draconian President Snow (Donald Sutherland) maneuvers with moves, and countermoves, from his still sumptuous mansion in the Capital. Tomorrow arrives: District 13’s Commander Paylor (Patina Miller) leads the charge. Boggs (Mahershala Ali) and Lt. Jackson (Michelle Forbes) command the small, “face of the attack” team; cautiously, they enter the outskirts of the now war-torn metropolis. Even with the Holo, casualties are inevitable. Taking over, Katniss’ mandate is clear: finish what she came to do. Unsuspected allies emerge, as well as unimaginable treachery, and tough moral choices. Who to trust, or not. Checkmate. As her arrow flies, only Plutarch seems unfazed.
Dark and harsh, with a brutally honest depiction of war, and gritty themes regarding human foibles are unusual ingredients for blockbusters, until The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins’ adaptation of her trilogy’s third book—dived into two cinematic parts—adheres, notwithstanding some thin dialogue. Perhaps unnoticed, since Part 2 was shot back-to-back with Mockingjay – Part 1, moves at a harrowing pace, has terrific computer generated imagery (CGI) in 2D, and great performances. Continuity and quality is maintained with Lawrence at the helm, cinematographer Jo Willems, composer James Newton Howard, and Alan Edward Bell and Mark Yoshikawa editing. The Games materialize through ingenuity from production designer Philip Messina, art director Dan Webster, Larry Dias and Mark Rosinski’s set decoration, costume designers Kurt and Bart and all their teams. And so, the Hunger Games end. Expunging the Dark Days, the Panem nation commences a redemptive, cathartic era. For us, traveling backward to 2015, we have this thought-provoking tale to ponder on our journey. 137 minutes ( )
In the dramatic conclusion to the popular Hunger Games series, the war against the Capitol is coming to its climax and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is at the fore, rallying the rebel troops to fight against their oppressors. While she is quite successful at this, her personal life is not going so well. Although Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), her friend and potential romantic interest, has been saved from his torturous internment with President Snow in the Capitol, he has been brainwashed to think of Katniss as the enemy. To end the fighting and bring a conclusion to her own suffering, she must find a way to kill President Snow, even if she must die in the process.