The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2 (Lionsgate, PG-13)

Mockingjay Part 2 75To be fair, I’m sure it’ll make tons of money, but more out ofsense of duty on the audience’s part, and not because it deserves it.

 

 

 

 

Mockingjay Part 2 500

There was so much hype behind the first three Hunger Games movies—everyone I knew was excited to see them, they were these presumed juggernaut tentpole pictures that you seemed better off seeing than not if only so you could keep up with the conversation. And now we have the final installment… and no one seems to care. No one I know, anyway; it’s possible that I’m just talking to the wrong people (but recall they were all excited about the previous entries in the series), but it seems the public stopped caring about this around the time they started getting super geeked for the new Star Wars.

And now that I’ve seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2, it seems a likely scenario that no one will care, either; it’s not good enough to make anyone care. Nor bad enough to make anyone care, for that matter. It simply is.

To be fair, I’m sure it’ll make tons of money, but more out of sense of duty on the audience’s part, and not because it deserves it or is inspiring the passion the previous films did. But why is this? Maybe because the book Mockingjay is widely considered the worst of the trilogy these four films are based on. Maybe it’s because Mockingjay—Part 1 was the worst film of the series so far (though still not unforgivably awful). Maybe it’s because this whole thing was just a fad in the first place.

We pick up in Mockingjay—Part 2 with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) et al. trying to determine how to handle the brainwashed, and therefore dangerous, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), all the while scheming to go to the Capitol and assassinate President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Working on the side of Katniss, or so it seems, anyway, are power players President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman, with little screen time in his final screen role), as well as a team of what are essentially dissidents. Since this film is based on only the second half of the final book of the series, as one would expect it is pretty much all action, similar to last year’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Though it’s always been present, the relentless lack of logic starts to get really tiresome in Mockingjay—Part 2. Okay, we’re in a sewer now. Some horror movie sewer zombie things are attacking, like in a cross between The Descent and the aforementioned Hobbit. (Weta did the special effects here, so that’s not surprising.) Now Katniss and Snow are talking civilly to one another. Peeta’s tips look more frosted than I remember. Both male romantic prospects for Karniss are squishy. Scenes are dark—don’t try watching this on your home TV during the day, as you’ll never be able to make out what’s going on. Here’s some fire, here are some beloved characters dying, here is Jennifer Lawrence crying out people’s names.  Blah blah fucking blah.

At least Mockingjay—Part 2 is reliable in its mediocrity, if that’s anything approaching a compliment. While Catching Fire was a solid film, both the original Hunger Games as well as Mockingjay—Part 1 were more uneven, with the former uneven-leaning-good, the latter uneven-leaning bad. Either way, watching Mockingjay—Part 2, it gets you wondering why it is that everyone (including myself, to a certain extent) used to be so excited about this series. | Pete Timmermann

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