‘Mockingjay Part 2’ disappoints, weakest film in series

Photo Courtesy of Tribune News Service – ”The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2.”

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Willow Shields
6 out of 10

By Joseph Valencia ’17

“Mockingjay Part 2” was supposed to be the strongest film in the “Hunger Games” series and the epic conclusion to a genre defining franchise, but it falls terribly short.

The “Hunger Games” focuses on the oppressed nation of Panem rebelling against their cruel rulers in the Capital. “Mockingjay Part 1” focuses on the start of the rebellion.

First off, this film doesn’t justify the fact that the “Mockingjay” novel was split into two parts. “Mockingjay Part 1” did a good job setting everything up for the war between the Capitol and the rest of Panem. But the actual battles in the war are rushed and are spaced too far apart.

The space between the battles demonstrates the film’s largest problem: pacing. “Mockingjay Part 2” is too slow, which can be attributed to the fact that the novel was split into two movies.

Most of the characters fall flat in terms of development, remaining the same as they were in the previous films. The only characters that experience development are

Haymitch and Effie Trinket, played by Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks.

They slowly become more affectionate with each other to the point where they nearly enter a romantic relationship, an element that wasn’t present in the novel. Sadly, the relationship is cut short for no reason near the end of the film.

The movie also tends to gloss over important events, such as crucial moments with Primrose Everdeen and Alma Coin, played by Willow Shields and Julianne Moore.

The novel put heavy focus on these events, but the movie spends around 10 minutes on each.

The rushed battles and crucial plot points come together to show the film’s issues with pacing, which become extremely evident by the end. The ending is basically 25 minutes of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, moping around in a stupor of self pity after the war’s conclusion.

One impressive element is the respect they showed to the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who played Plutarch Heavensbee. In a scene near the end, Haymitch reads

Katniss a sincere letter of thanks from Plutarch, something not present in the book.

The scene fit well into the film, and was a tribute of sorts to Hoffman, as “Mockingjay Part 2” was his final film.

Overall, “Mockingjay Part 2” was a disappointment that can only truly be enjoyed by true “Hunger Games” fans who are willing to overlook its large flaws.