PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material
November 20, 2015
Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Stanley Tucci, Willow Shields, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright
More on this movie at IMDb.com
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CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW
Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Katniss Everdeen's final adventure to save Panem from the tyrannical President Snow gets its last moments on theater screens worldwide in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. Based on the concluding chapters in Suzanne Collins' bestselling trilogy, Part 2 continues the dystopian saga with the tight trio of actors Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth returning for their farewell performances as the courageous Katniss, tortured Peeta, and unmovable Gale.
Lionsgate's mega franchise does its source material justice, to a point. Rated PG-13, Mockingjay, Part 2 is not suitable for kids.
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
Protected by rebel leader, President Coin, and safely tucked underground in District 13, Katniss is far from President Snow's reach. But, it's a false sense of security because Snow has brainwashed Peeta. Now, her once ally and friend is trying to kill her. Ready to take the fight to Snow, the rebel forces move on the Capitol to liberate the oppressed citizens of Panem. Katniss goes with one mission in mind - assassinate President Snow. Mayhem await Katniss and her team as they maneuver through the complexities of war and the maze of deadly traps Snow has set up to block their advances.
THE GOOD AND BAD IN THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2
Mockingjay, Part 2 is a tug of war, in action and thought. Its dialogue on war and the traumatic consequences of it happen primarily between Katniss and Gale. Seeing the suffering it causes, Katniss argues for compassion even in battle. Gale's rebuttal: "It's war, Katniss. Sometimes killing isn't personal."
The Hunger Games trilogy's known for its multi-layered, thematic storylines. This second part of the Mockingjay adaptation is no different. In it, Katniss sacrifices to see tryanny demolished and a representative government established that will bring liberty for all of Panem's citizens. Even more themes abound, including loyalty, trust, suffering, compassion, courage, hatred, oppression, fear, anger, resentment, revenge, love, hope, and despair. To get into all of it adequately would take a book. But, before moving on, it's worthy to note the film has a lovely wedding scene that's likely a nod to the author's Roman Catholic background. Two characters exchange vows, committing themselves to each other, and become 'one flesh' with "one life, one purpose, and one destiny".
On the whole, Mockingjay, Part 2 doesn't quite deliver the blowout finish this franchise has been building up to over the last three films. It drags at times, a probable side effect of splitting the final book in the trilogy into two separate movies. The plot is depressing, an understandable fact since it's based on a book about a dysfunctional world at war. However, it could've used more levity to break up the downer moments.
Lawrence as Katniss and Hutcherson as Peeta bring it once again. Donald Sutherland (as President Snow) and Julianne Moore (as President Coin) are strong opposing forces on screen. It's unfortunate that supporting actor Jena Malone (as Johanna) didn't have more screen time. Seeing the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch was a treat, and sobering at the same time.
With a PG-13 rating for "for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material", The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 is not for the younger moviegoers among us. Per the rating, the movie's violence is often forceful, with bombs even killing children. One scene shows a fighter's legs missing after an explosion; however, the camera angles are such that the gruesome realities of war are never seen up-close. Mutated creatures designed to hunt down rebels provide additional scary moments that will be frightening to young audiences.
IN THE END
The drama escalates for Katniss, Gale, and Peeta in Mockingjay, Part 2, but does the film hit a high in this franchise wrap up? Yes and no. For its poignant moments and visual portrayal of this beloved story, it's likely to be a fan favorite. However, its constant grim tone and mostly foreseeable twists may cost it.
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Hannah Goodwyn serves as the Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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