Suspenseful ‘Mockingjay’ shines

Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), left, Sam Clafin (Finnick Odair), back left, Messalla (Evan Ross), back right and Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) star in the film "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2." / Murray Close, Lionsgate via The Associated Press

Reviewed by Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent

   Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” trilogy finally comes to a long-awaited but bittersweet conclusion in “Mockingjay, Part 2.” The film resumes its storyline exactly where the first “Mockingjay” movie left off, beginning the final leg of the story in an almost anticlimactic manner.
Though there are a few slower moments near the film’s start, it quickly picks up the pace as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) heads to the front lines of the rebellion.
After a failed attempt to recruit Capitol loyalists to the uprising, Katniss smuggles herself to the Capitol’s outskirts, fully prepared to assassinate her nemesis, President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Instead, she finds herself being manipulated into filming more propaganda movies — this time in the middle of a war zone. Alone in the bleak and decimated Capitol, Katniss and a familiar team of allies face deadly “pods,” a range of booby traps that are designed for one purpose: to kill. The emotional tension increases when both Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are placed on Katniss’ squad, thrusting the series’ love triangle into life-or-death situations together.
   Mockingjay’s suspense shines throughout the entire film, creating a sense of anticipation and anxiety. Fans of the book won’t be disappointed by the plot; there are some small discrepancies but overall the storyline is very similar. Both Hutcherson and Lawrence continue to do an excellent job of expressing their characters’ emotional battles, but Hemsworth sometimes appears to fall short in the character complexity arena. James Newton Howard, who’s composed the previous films’ soundtrack, finishes strong with the most bombastic and moving score of the series. The film itself is exciting to watch, though the promise of “catching fire” doesn’t quite seem to fulfill the expectations of fans. “Mockingjay” has a few explosions of action, then smolders into a happy yet melancholy conclusion, ending the Hunger Games series with a subdued atmosphere.

 “Mockingjay, Part 2″ is rated PG–13 and is two hours, 17 minutes long. There are numerous depictions of violence and death, and multiple frightening/suspenseful scenes. “Mockingjay” should probably be viewed by audiences age 12 and over.

Logan A. White is a home-schooled sophomore and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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