Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer, Woody Harrelson, Evan Ross, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Robert Knepper, Gwendoline Christie, Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone, Stanley Tucci
Runtime: 2 hrs 17 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Violence)
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/TheHungerGamesMovie
Opening Day: 19 November 2015
Synopsis: With the nation of Panem in a full-scale war, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends ‐ including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) ‐ Katniss goes off on a mission with the District 13 unit as they risk their lives to liberate the citizens of Panem, and stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. Although rebels now control most of Panem, the girl on fire must still overcome one last challenge to win President Snow's "game" - to conquer the capital at the risk of losing her friends. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games as she realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival ‐ they are for the future.
Katniss Everdeen is back to kick some serious ass in the Capitol after suffering from severe PTSD in the very subdued The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.
Of course this concluding chapter to the phenomenal franchise that turned Jennifer Lawrence into one of Hollywood’s youngest and richest star is the ultimate thirst-quencher for fans and series followers who have waited a year for it to unveil. As compared to other book-to-movie adaptations liked World War Z, writers Peter Craig and Danny Strong pretty much sticks closely to Suzanne Collins’ original writings so fans can heave a sigh of relief.
When we last left the Hunger Games, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has begun orders to attack District 13. Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) on the other hand has been ‘hijacked’ into killing Katniss while rebel leader, President Coin (Julianne Moore) aims to destroy Snow’s military stronghold in District 2 before attacking the Capitol. As strong as she is, Katniss is still reeling in from Peeta’s attack and plight. Will our beloved heroine regain her strength and will to fight against Snow’s pending attacks?
After helming three instalments, director Francis Lawrence obviously demonstrate a firmer grip if not a much confident take on the material. Most people conclude that Mockingjay Part 1 is just Lionsgate’s ploy of buying time and money and essentially a long teaser to the finale. Fortunately, Mockingjay Part 2 has none of the deliberate pacing of its predecessor. Lawrence commits to move the story forward as much as possible within the 134 minutes timeframe. The showdown is set. Hidden agenda is finally revealed. Familiar characters are killed. The future of Panem is set in motion.
No doubt, the momentum is doubled and those longing for an exciting showdown between Katniss and President Snow will not be disappointed. Dictator Coriolanus Snow continues to showcase his high-tech weaponries though this time his beloved booby traps are no longer laid out in forests but the streets of the Capitol awaiting the arrival of Katniss and her teammates which include her ex-love interest/hunting partner Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), Boggs (Mahershala Ali) and a very unstable Peeta in tow.
For those who longed for some nasty action bits after they failed to make an appearance in Part 1 will rejoice at Snow’s elaborate tricks which include a rising tide of black oil and the unleashed of a group of underground mutated creatures (that seems to inspired from I Am Legend, one of Lawrence’s titles) upon Team Katniss. Both scenes are tightly choreographed, often heart-pounding and the CG looks very impressive on the big screen.
Though largely targeted at the teen’s demographics, The Hunger Games is not one trilogy that relies solely on its mixture of young and veteran cast members and action sets. Katniss’ dilemma in choosing her side lingers on as she ponders between living her destiny as a savior and warrior of District 13. Defying Coin’s order and insisting she deals with Snow herself proved she is no longer the 16 year old teenager who took her sister’s place for the hunger games. Consequences lie in her bare hands and the narrative is compelling enough to let us forget we have already waited four years for the answer.
Equally emotional is the romance aspect as audiences will definitely be keen to find out the final result of the love triangle as Katniss struggles on whom to trust. Is it Peeta who sacrificed so much for Katniss or the heroic Gale who has somewhat transformed into a ruthless soldier in the process? As always regardless of her roles, Jennifer Lawrence continues to be an awe-inspiring actress. Her incredible talents in portraying a convincing Katniss Everdeen probably accounts for the success of the series. What’s surprising is Josh Hutcherson who needs to be applaud for his incredible performance as the suffering Peeta. As for Liam Hemsworth, let’s just say Gale is simply not a role for him to shine. Sadly, Elizabeth Banks (Effie), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee) and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch) has very little or in the case of Wright and Hoffman, fleeting scenes to make it a worthy outing.
Essentially dark, relentlessly mind stimulating and full of thoughtful material, The Hunger Games is one of those rare young-adult franchises that are more grown up than any of the mainstream flicks out there. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 marks a beautiful end to an epic saga but we are sure we will see more of Jennifer Lawrence in the not so distant future.
(An immensely engaging and fitting farewell to everyone’s favourite Mockingjay!)
Review by Linus Tee