Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars
Bottom Line: A bit empty story-wise. Good effects but mostly video-gamey. Pointless as a stand-alone movie but worth it to see the conclusion of the series.
Still catching up on my 2015 movie reviews…
Having finally read the “Hunger Games” books in between Part One and Part Two of “Mockingjay”, I had a fairly good idea of what to expect for this movie and my expectations were low. “Mockingjay” the book wasn’t terribly good. That said, this is a series where I can say that the movies were all better than the books. THAT said, “Mockingjay Part 2” is a mostly pointless movie except for the fact that it ties up the series. That isn’t to say that the movie is bad. It’s just more of a money grabbing scheme filled with fluff before tying the story together at its conclusion.
All that said, I did still enjoy the movie. It is certainly the weakest of the series, but it continues the streak of doing much more with the source material than you’d think possible. It concludes Katniss’ quest for revenge against President Snow under the backdrop of a civil war against the Capitol. There are a lot of weird plot points that you kind of have to stretch your mind to make fit, but they’re not so far-fetched to ruin the enjoyment of the movie. Worse is the “oh, all of us knew you were lying all along” moment. You’ll know it when you see it if you haven’t already read the books.
A lot of the fluff in the movie comes from the quest to reach Snow’s compound. It runs like a poorly crafted Dungeons and Dragons session:
DM: You walk into a courtyard surrounded by tall buildings on all sides. The only visible exits are where you just came from and a series of door which appear to be entrances to the buildings. In the middle is a decorative archway. What would you like to do?
Player 1: I’d like to walk through the archway!
Player 2: No, wait! Let me check for traps. *rolls d20* 18!
DM: You find a machine gun trap.
Player 2: Everyone hide while I trigger it.
DM: The guns spring out of the wall and fire off a salvo of ammo that would have obliterated anyone inside the arch.
Player 2: I just saved all your asses!
DM: Peeta, roll a sanity check.
A good portion of the movie is crafted like that. It’s not what I’d call criminally bad, its more of a “suspend disbelief to be mildly entertained” thing. It’s the one portion of the movie that I had trouble not rolling my eyes. But this is how Collins kludges in the pattern of the Games themselves with the Gamemasters thinking up inventive ways to kill even though it’s all completely superfluous in a war setting.
You’ll see this movie because you’ve seen the others. If you haven’t seen the others, there’s no need to watch this movie at all. This all should have been one movie, but when there’s money to be made, people will make money.