The Humger Games: Mockingjay part 2 (12A)

Directed by Francis Lawrence
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woddy Harrellson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland

I'm a huge fan of the series and as a book reader, Mockingjay was always going to be a tougher sell than the original intriguing premise of the Hunger games themselves. Frankly, Katniss was a real drag in the third book and the final battle wasn't that gripping. The decision to split the book into 2 parts was an unwise one on balance as I think the momentum of the first 2 films was lost. I was also sorry that part I really liked - Katniss and Johanna Mason going through boot camp together and bonding as room mates - was cut. Instead we get extra tunnels action - the part that dragged in the book - and even more of the least interesting love triangle in recent films! Neither Peeta nor Gale are worthy!

However, the series benefits from the calibre of actors. Jennifer Lawrence is once again fantastic and I would have liked more of Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, and one of the enormous flaw for me, the wonderful Paula Malcolmson is cast as Katniss' mother and has NOTHING to do for 4 films!! Why cast such a talented actress? OK so she is a non-character in the books too, but such a waste. Michelle Forbes and Gwendoline Christie add to the kick ass gals - although Christie literally has one scene. The film come to life when the supremely oily Donald Sutherland is onscreen. He is absolutely brilliant as President Snow, and the late plot twists were something that definitely worked well.

I saw the film for the second time today and enjoyed it, but there are definitely parts that drag and other parts that make you wish for more of those wonderful character actors. A really scary mutt attack in the sewers pushed the 12A certificate although the many deaths are largely bloodless to get that rating. The series has been great, and was always going to be tough to end appropriately as the book was a bit unsatisfying. Katniss was rather whiny in the books, whereas Jennifer Lawrence has brought so much strength and emotion to the part. She's the best thing in it once again.


November 2015

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