Monday, 7 December 2015

Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

It’s finally here, the final instalment of The Hunger Games, it’s a bittersweet moment leaving me both excited and apprehensive.  I’ve been so excited about seeing Katniss, Peeta and Gale back on the big screen but this means that it is the end, what if it isn’t as good as the others (or only just as good as Mockingjay Part 1) what kind of sobbing mess would I be then?!  A gaping Hunger Games shaped hole in my life and no way to fix it (other than read the books again!).

Following on from the Mockingjay Part 1 (funnily enough), Peeta has been trained to hate Katniss, Katniss is the face of a revolution, Gale is a soldier and Primrose is a nurse.  Along with some firm favourites, Finnick Odair (Sam Clafin), Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and Pollux (Elden Henson), Katniss leads the team into the capitol and to President Snow’s mansion.  The route is fraught with ‘pods’ which release various terrifying booby traps from explosions to oil slicks. 

This is basically another Hunger Games, as noted by Finnick “Welcome to the 76th Hunger Games” but set in the streets of the capitol instead of an arena.  All that was missing from that line was a 'looking into the camera breaking the fourth wall' moment. That would have been perfect! The gamemakers have made it near impossible for anyone to get to the mansion without being killed or maimed in the process.  

I will admit that the third was my least favourite book, there was a lot of talking and it seemed so much less action packed that the previous two.  However, what happened with the film it seems, is that all the boring stuff was jammed into the first film (my least favourite of the movies) and all the action and emotional gumph is in this one, making it ten times more awesome than I imagined.  Maybe it’s because I’ve see the first and second one a hundred times and this one is completely new but I think it might be my favourite of them all.  I spent much of the time tensed up while Katniss and co try to break free of another cruel booby trap and Josh Hutcherson was brilliant to watch as he fought the demons in his own head and tried to decide what was real and what was planted in his mind. After 4 years I'd thought I would have grown tired of being Team Peeta, but I loved all of his scenes!

I'd forgotten actually how much dialogue was in this part of the book. That's the main thing that frustrated me with this movie, the pacing was all over the place. It went from 5 minutes of solid dialogue to crazy action, back to chatter again. It was a bit stop start! I actually really liked that, it kept me on my toes - plus for me, the dialogue is what made the films so close to the books.

I think they really captured the reason behind Katniss’s choices, maybe more so than the books.  I don’t want to reveal any spoilers but her decision at the end of the book baffled me a little bit as it wasn’t what I expected but in the film it felt like the perfect ending.  I also didn’t find myself as emotional watching the film as I had in the book, I was sobbing like a small child when I read the third one but managed to scrape by this one without a single tear or sniffle.

One thing I'd forgotten from the books was how dark some of those scenes were! I won't mention because of spoilers, but with everything happening in the world right now one scene in particular was quite harrowing to watch.

I stand by my thought that Mockingjay didn't need to be split into two parts. If the dull, unnecessary moments from both parts were taken out and made into one movie, it could have been amazing, but my favourite from the series is still Catching Fire. 

I almost wanted this to be my least favourite of the films so I wouldn’t be sad that it was over but it has turned out to be my favourite, now I’m gutted all over again that it’s finished!  Back to the books I go…..

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