Review: The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 2

As a huge fan of the whole Hunger Games world, it’s no surprise that I’ve been waiting with much anticipation for the release of this: the final instalment of the four-film series. As I took my seat in the cinema, on just the second day of the film’s release, I have to admit I had absolutely no idea about how heated and breath-taking this cold and rainy this night was about to become.

Since the first of the Suzanne Collins’ books was published back in 2012, the gripping story of a young girl dragged into a war-zone she could never have been prepared for has had many people hooked. Then, when the films were released – The Hunger Games (2012), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) – the franchise’s fan base has just grown and grown.

But on November 20th 2015 Mockingjay Part 2, the finale, hit our cinemas – and what a treat we were in for. As character Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) put it, “Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the 76th Hunger Games…”

Following the 74th Hunger Games and the 75th, or the Third Quarter Quell, Games, the nation of Panem is in a full-scale revolutionary war. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) teams up with the other remaining victors and her closest friends to complete their final mission – to fight against the real enemy, the Capitol, and assassinate President Snow (Donald Sutherland) before he gets to her first.

“Tonight, turn your weapons to the Capitol. Turn your weapons to Snow.”

Katniss is fuelled by all that she’s lost and suffered as a result of Snow’s dangerous desire for power and war – her friends, her home and soon to be much, much more than just that.

Through all the traps, twists, turns and turmoil, this film had me hooked from the word ‘go’. Both shocking and satisfying, there wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t on the edge of my seat. There were times when it had my heart jumping, just as there were times when it had my heart weeping – it was the perfect balance of the two, and the perfect end to the series.

I must also commend director Francis Lawrence for re-working the character of Plutarch Heavensbee, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died during the filming of Mockingjay Part 2 at the age of 46. The two remaining scenes of the film were rewritten to compensate for his absence.

It was during this film that I was once again reminded of the superb casting by Lionsgate – each role was executed brilliantly; in particular Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as this brave and tenacious character was second to none.

Controversially, I did hear some saying that the film didn’t quite reflect the book as consistently as they would have liked but, in my opinion, after experiencing all of these films as a whole, it’s not just Katniss Everdeen who’s on fire – it’s this enticing, incomparable storyline.