Movie Review: The Mockingjay Part II (2015)

The Mockingjay Poster

Plot: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

Rating: 7.5/10

Mockingjay Part II had a lot to live up to. The not so stellar opinion of Mockingjay Part I probably increased the pressure significantly. Did it live up to the hype? You will have to go see it to decide for yourself, but I liked it well enough. It doesn’t come close to disrupting what I consider my favourite films of 2015, but I found the movie well done, very sad and a good end to the franchise.

What is it about this film series that makes it much more palatable than other Dystopian dramas? I really enjoyed the Divergent books but the movie adaptions run great risk of falling into complete obscurity. The Hunger Games, however, does not run this risk. Why? Firstly, the cast is stellar. Secondly, the directing is spot on and I think a great visualization of what Suzanne Collins thought. Lastly? The story itself carries resonance in a world plagued by terror and war. No one can possibly watch the Hunger Games series and realise that no, we aren’t sending people into an arena to fight to death, but that it is very close to our every day of warfare.

I considered Mockinjay Part I fine, much against popular opinion, but Part II is definitely better than its’ predecessor. It is mostly due to the fact that the last part of the book has all the action – part I had the unfortunate task of making a movie out of a very dull and depressing part of a very thin book.

The biggest flaw in the film is most certainly that the watchers who didn’t read the book will be confused in many places – even I, who did read the book, thought that the movie was confusing at places.

It also feels rushed – the film is short for a last film and there is so much action that a few breather scenes – something I rarely recommend – should have been included.

My favourite part? Josh Hutcherson. I am a full out Gale Hawthorne fan, but Josh Hutcherson was born to play the sweet Peeta Mellark – that incredibly kind person who managed to keep something of himself despite the fact that he had gone through enough to destroy kindness once and for all. He broke my heart in places, and watching him struggle through the lies the Capitol had fed him was really very painful.

Mockinjay wedding

The best scene? Definitely those fucking mutts. Pardon my French there, but what WERE those things? I was terrified. I expect them to show up in my dreams soon. WTF. And the death there that supposed to happen? It did, and it was as terrible as in the books.

Kudos to Jennifer Lawrence for what she does for Katniss Everdeen. Say what about how annoying she is on the red carpet, because she is, Jennifer Lawrence brings so much character to that selfish girl in the books. You get to understand that Katniss is going mad – she’s been through too much and has seen so many horrors that she is not stable and she has lost most of her kindness.

I am slowly becoming a big fan of Liam Hemsworth as well – not near to the admiration I have for older brother Chris, but quite a lot. I think that he did very well in here and acted his best since the start of the series. I do wish that they could have included something about what happens to him in the end – the book leaves that out as well, but I think the movies could have concocted something.

There are a few changes between book and movie, but as nothing major is altered it isn’t something I would complain about just yet.

Mockingjay

I think I am always going to consider Catching Fire the best of the series, but Mockinjay Part II is a good end to a very good franchise. It is a bit sad to say good-bye, and if you have no clue what to expect in the movie, just be aware that Suzanne Collins made J.K. Rowling look like a merciful goddess who spared all your favourite characters from a grizzly death. That is all I’m going to say. I hope you enjoy it, and can speak fondly of a great franchise, as I am planning to do.

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13 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Mockingjay Part II (2015)

  1. Awesome review friend! I am glad to see that you enjoyed this one. Well, as long as it is better than the last, I will be fine. I was no fan of that one AT ALL. But you know this 🙂

    “….Suzanne Collins made J.K. Rowling look like a merciful goddess…” – I dispute this claim! xD

    So far, Catching Fire has been my favourite of the lot so far, though I am very excited to get out there and see this one. Maybe on Friday. We will see, we will see. Then Spectre on Saturday… so many movies, SO little time.

    • Thanks bestie. I really hope you enjoy it! The movie schedule is plain insane for December. Goodness! So much awesome!

      Catching Fire is the best of the franchise. This was really not bad though, just thoroughly depressing, as in the books.

  2. Marvelous work Natasha! Aw it’s so bittersweet seeing this one go out (listen to me, I’m a damn giddy fanboy already and I have never been that way about YA book adaptations, ha!) I know you already read my prattling on about this but I really quite enjoyed myself here in Part II. We agree on many things too: I think Catching Fire was the definitive high point; the cash grab splitting these two books remains obvious but I wasn’t down on Pt I like the whole world seems to be; this last chapter is dark as anything I’ve seen this year. Well, maybe sparing a few things.

    I recently watched an interview with Donald Sutherland about his role in CF and he put it best: this is a film series that not only caters to youngsters, and younger-than-young people, but young adults and matured adults as well. So well-said. That’s the difference I feel between this and other YA book adaptations.

    • Thanks Tom. I think it is a testimony to its success as YA series that you like it 😀 I really enjoyed your review!

      I really dislike this habit of splitting the last book into two movies. It is so greedy and very few books can actually manage that split.

      Mockingjay is really dark and depressing. I can’t remember – have you read the books? It is so sad.

      That is very true. It carries a lot of adult themes. I’m really sad to see the series go, but like you said on your review, definitely getting that boxset!

      • I haven’t read the books yet, I’m going to be getting them this Christmas I hope, along with The Martian. Those are all books I really must read. And that’s saying something b/c I’m a terrible book-reader. Took me almost a month to complete ‘Between A Rock and a Hard Place,’ the story upon which the movie 127 Hours was based. And I love the outdoors. Shame on me for taking so long!

  3. Anxious to see this especially after the wide range of reactions to it. I wasn’t blown away by the last movie but I thought it left things in place for a really good finale. Hopefully I can catch up with it over the weekend.

    • I think the first Mockinjay bored a lot of people. This one is much better and contains the action the previous one missed. I hope you get to watch it and like it!

  4. Great review, Natasha! Oh yeah – I definitely prefer the same Hemsworth brother as you do. As you know. 😉 But Liam was indeed good in this one. It did feel very rushed, which was a shame. And I do think both parts of this film must be confusing to non-book readers – I got a little lost myself as I read the books so long ago! I had to further explain a few things to hubby that they rushed through in the movie (like the Gale second bomb thing – it was mentioned so briefly at the beginning of the film). I’ll still always love the first two books & movies, though. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Best Films of 2015: 11-20 | Life of this city girl

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