The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Written by Danny Strong and Peter Craig
The “finale” of the The Hunger Games trilogy-in-four-parts is upon us soon, and my local cinema screened a marathon of them all. So I figured that as enough justification for reviewing them. The threequel/fourquel/finale instalment is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, based on the novel Mockingjay. As previously explained in these reviews, and the series, the Mockingjay symbol’s significance is a long story.
A story that now concludes with the second half of a film. That’s how you know it’s the last one. At least, until the “…a Hunger Games Story” anthology spin-off films. But as the finale to a series involving much world building, many characters and an epic storyline, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (a tragic, terrible title) does achieve what it set-out to do – finish the series and provide a satisfying sense of closure for the audience and the characters.
This is executed through the Peter Jackson-esque method, later refitted-for-purpose by Christopher Nolan, of giving each character their own end scene that allows us to see what happened to them after the foundation of a new state in place of the nation ruled by Coriolanus Snow until his assumed death in the final act. Which is ironic, given Coriolanus never really gets his own ending. All we know is that the spectators of his execution later rushed at him, but whatever end he was probably given in the source material isn’t shown. Instead, we just assume he was beaten to death by the crowd.
Katniss had executed the arranged Interim President Alma Coin, who were using both sides of the Second Rebellion against each other. Her plan was to organise something of a memorial games once inaugurated, and that was enough Katniss to realise that Coriolanus had become a pawn unto his own campaign. In that sense, both armies are the same, but being wiped-out by contradictory orders coming from the same source without anyone’s knowledge but the true perpetrator being until Katniss reveals it by shooting an arrow through Alma’s heart. This was the final statement of both The Hunger Games as a series, and Katniss as the face of the rebellion.
Katniss was the one chosen to execute Coriolanus when the time came, and the crowd’s assumption that Alma must have been the true enemy simply because of Katniss’ one, unexpected action also says something about Human nature, though I fear this one was unintentional. Mindlessly following one person without questioning them is what got them into this mess in the first place. But, at least Katniss wasn’t the one chosen to be Interim President, which seems illogical given her public following during the Second Rebellion. You know, I’m not going to pretend I understand the world of Panem completely.
I’ve had to consult its wiki just for the correct pronouns, but I understand the general story. Which isn’t to say I understand how the plot moves from one point to the next, just what those points are. It seems they missed a lot of important information to make the final push to the end really make sense, but The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is still held together by its actors (who deserve at least Oscar consideration) and the film’s own ability to be genuinely scary in some places. There’s a stigma against jump scares in modern films, but the real problem should be with ineffective jump scares.
There are jump scares here, and they are obvious, but they’re still scary. The sewer sequence has to be one of the most horrifying scenes of the genre. The creatures they are find are like the love children of Tom Riddle after his rebirth, and the Pale Man. And it’s for these standout moments that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is worth watching, on the whole – just less so than would be desired.
Next review: something completely different.