War finally comes to a close in “Mockingjay Part 2”

Story by Kirsten Fedorowicz, The Saint Reporter
Photo courtesy of Movie Pilot

It’s been a long seven years for Katniss Everdeen. The Hunger Games first came out in print in 2008, introducing the Utopian world of the destructive Panem. That first book, as well as the rest of the trilogy, became New York Times best sellers. Their movie counterparts are box office favorites, as well as being critically acclaimed. With the coming of the final Hunger Games movie Mockingjay Part 2, the series draws to a violent end, and the world of Panem comes crashing down.

One of the appeals to The Hunger Games movie franchise is that it’s faithful to the books. Mockingjay Part 2 is no different. In separating the final books into two movies, the franchise is lingering in the same spots as the book did. The message is not mangled from book to movie, and the movie still delivers solid commentary on the flawed society of Panem, and draws bone-chilling connections between this literary world and ours.

Katniss Everdeen (another strong performance by Jennifer Lawrence) spends scenes debating over the purpose of war and death. For viewers that are familiar with the books, these debates of power and death will satisfy and scare the same way they did in the books. For those who are less familiar with the series, the scenes might feel like they drag on between action scenes.

When the action scenes do come, they are mighty. The arena has expanded to the whole Capital at this point in the series, and the twisted designs of the Gamemakers are as terrifying as ever. The CGI does not disappoint, and the mutts and explosions are as deadly as ever. In Mockingjay Part 2 the viewer is taken outside of the dreary world of District 13 and into the heart of the takeover in the Capitol. Much of the movie is spent running through the streets of the Capitol, avoiding set traps. There is a lot death in Mockingjay Part 2, and the death toll feels like an actual war. There are a lot of beloved characters to say goodbye, as not everyone survives the war.

So, yes, there will be tears. There will be twists where Katniss makes decisions you didn’t see coming. Parts of the series will be resolved. With Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) on the screen at the same time, the movie does linger at the aspects of the love triangle, but some of the exchanged words seem funny surrounded by tragedy, something both actors recognize. Yes, Katniss finally picks her man, but that doesn’t matter so much.

The series comes to a close with a bang. If Mockingjay Part 1 felt slow, the second part is definitely quicker, but has just as many good things to say. How the war ends is tragic, but the last few scenes are the healing process for the heroine. This time, it is finally the end. This time, there is no arena to go back into.

Finally, Katniss Everdeen might get some peace.

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