Nothing can prepare you for the end
It has only been three years since the first novel by Suzanne Collins was made into a film. Amazingly The Hunger Games churned out four films in four years and the last installment, Mockingjay Part 2, is finally here.
Opening where Part 1 left off, Peeta is saved but compromised and traumatized. The rebellion grows stronger, no longer trying to gain momentum but with full traction propelling closer to The Capitol. Katniss finally accepts her position and use in the rebellion and realizes this is the time to overthrow Panem and gain freedom for good.
Screenwriters Peter Craig and Danny Strong, responsible for the division and screenplay of Mockingjay Part 1, get to finish what they started. Mind you, what they started wasn’t very good and those same flaws transfer over to Mockingjay Part 2. The third and final novel of The Hunger Games series isn’t particularly long, unlike the Harry Potter novels that almost required film divisions, and with each part lasting over two hours there isn’t enough content to once again justify the film’s length.
Just from looking at the stills released for this film, you can tell it is going to be monochromatic, but you hope that is just visually and not narratively or emotionally. Unfortunately, the monotone vibe is a constant throughout all aspects of the film and I blame the inexperienced and sub-par screenwriters in part for this. Unlike the first two films, there is no ‘game’ to ground the plot of the film, this time the civil war of Panem is the ‘game’. There was plenty of room for the story to be told through action, emotion and acting. Instead, it is told through constant exposition between leaders and is both tiring and uncompelling. All of the dialogue of the film is either talking about what is going to happen or what just happened, with crude-like finesse for the idiots in the back.
Mockingjay Part 2 is evidence of all the minor and minute flaws of its predecessors, dating back to the original 2012 film. In Mockingjay, we are supposed to the see the final culmination of several conflicts between characters, and in reality the war’s resolution is secondary. Sure, Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 include this aspect in the film, but do we wholeheartedly believe it – No. The lack of believable character development between Katniss and several main characters (Prim, Gale and Peeta namely) reduces the film to a rudimentary skeleton that fizzles for its full length.
Perhaps it may appear I am being too hard on the YA franchise, especially since I was so disappointed of Mockingjay Part 1 – but they are two parts of the same story and were always going to impact one another’s effectiveness as individual film experiences. I am critical because the story is simple and the screenwriters failed the final novel’s adaptation. With Part 2 once again going into the minutiae of rallying the districts to overthrow The Capitol, it basically is the nail in the coffin for Part 1 and negates it to complete pointlessness. All that, and in it of itself it is sloppy and lazy, an affront to its fans.
Of all the Young Adult books that were lucky enough to garner a film franchise out of their successes, The Hunger Games is the most disappointing. Even the actors appear thankful it is over and tired of their roles, to the point where they all barely try. Lucky for the Director, the score is equally as unrefined as the script, and all of the emotion of the film relies upon and resides in the score.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – Movie Review