Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth,  
Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Juliane Moore

Watch the Final trailer for Mockingjay - Part 2

Here’s the official synopsis for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2:
With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss 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 unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

I saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, the final installment of The Hunger Games series on Saturday, November 21st (Jena Malone's birthday) on its opening weekend debut. Last year, I saw it on its opening day (November 21st, also the same day as Miss Malone's birthday. See my Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1).

It's been a while since I've seen the last movie (part 1) and read the MJ book, so I don't remember much of the rest of the story other than where part 1 ended it (in a cliffhanger to continue for part 2). So, it was nice to see this movie like it was a fresh, new film I don't know anything about other than its familiar title and cast/characters. I did start remembering the rest of MJ's story from the book as I watched this movie, which was good because when I was reading it, there were parts of the story that I couldn't visualized while reading it, but it was interesting watching it on screen. For instance, the scenes in the book where Katniss and crew where heading to the Capitol to get her revenged on President Snow and along the way something happened to Finnick Odair (which I won't spoil here) and It was different when I read it and different too seeing it on screen...but still interesting to see it than just reading about it and other scenes. I started remembering scenes I've read in the book while watching this movie and I was like, yeah, I remember this and that. I thought this movie stayed true and faithful to the book for the most part, but still made it its own for its cinematic vision. I loved and enjoyed part 1, but I think I loved and enjoyed this one more. It had more action and of course, it's the final film of the series.

Jennifer Lawrence reprising her Katniss Everdeen role for the last time in this part 2 of the final film from THG series, did a great job (as usual) on playing her leading role as her character's Mockingjay journey ends with a new beginning of hope for herself and Peeta (and their future family and life together) after the aftermath of the war (after she confronted President Snow and the plot twist she did...that shocked both the rebels from all districts and citizens of Panem) in the Capitol. That epilogue ending with her and Peeta was very nice to see, but it was too short (much like in the book) and was hoping to see a bit more...

Donald Sutherland, like Lawrence's Everdeen, returning as President Snow for the last time in this film was also great (as usual) and even more menacing (especially his evil laugh in his very last scene...) in part 2 here. His two (brief) scenes with Katniss towards the end were two of the pivotal moments including that unexpected plot twist (surprising for those who didn't know that part and read the last book) of what happened to his character in this final film.

Jena Malone, back as Johanna Mason (the former victor from district 7 and one of the rebels) for the last time. It was very nice to see her appear more in this final film, a step up from her barely there 2 seconds-blink-and-you'll missed her in the final cliffhanger ending scene from part 1 of Mockingjay. She appeared a bit more in this movie, especially in that nice, little moment/scene with Katniss, where she actually spoke a bit more dialogue with her. I wish she appeared more in part 2, as it looks like her training scenes with Katniss in the book were not included in this movie. I would've loved to have seen those little moments visually (not just reading about it) with her and Katniss (in the book) in little montage (perhaps, it's in the deleted scene?). Also, I was a bit disappointed though that there wasn't at least a brief moment of what her character was up towards the end of this movie. It was still nice to see her appeared a bit more in this final movie compared to part 1. I must say though, I loved her in the second film, Catching Fire more. Every scene she appeared in, in that film was memorable (including her lines/quotes) and my favorite parts of the CF movie.

The fates of other characters especially Finnick and Primrose were handled well in this movie.

Overall, I loved and enjoyed watching Mockingjay - Part 2. I thought it was much better than part 1, as far as the pacing of the scenes, the conclusion of the story, the action, special effects, and it was a very good film to close out the The Hunger Games franchise (see all my The Hunger Games Film Reviews here). Go see it, if you haven't already!

My The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 film rating:   (9.5/10 A)

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