Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 finally arrives!

Movie:   The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2

Rating:  PG-13, 2 hours 16 minutes

Grade:   A-

In a Nutshell:    As Finnick (Sam Claflin) says, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 76th Hunger Games!”

After 4 years and almost 9 hours of movie viewing, the concluding film in this popular action series is finally here!   This is a very sad and serious movie, but fans will feel an overall satisfaction with this last installment.  Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic, shining as always.  As Haymitch says, “I’ll say this for you Katniss, you don’t disappoint.”  She doesn’t. 

One thing that does is the reminder that Phillip Seymour Hoffman died while filming this final movie.  I always thought he was an excellent actor.  He will be missed. The rest of the cast is great too, offering a fond farewell.  Three cheers for Suzanne Collins for bringing us a thrilling book series that makes us think.

Be sure to watch Mockingjay Part 1, because this film picks up exactly where the last one left off.  

Uplifting Theme: 
·         Peeta explains, “There was no real life, because we didn’t have a choice.”  Free will has always been an important theme in all of these Hunger Game movies.
·         Do what’s right.
·         Revenge, justice, war, freedom, politics, revolution, loyalty, love
·         Which is worse: a clever, calculating, ruthless dictator you know or one you thought you knew?

Things I liked:
·         I absolutely love the last line of the movie.
·         While the book doesn’t mention it, the movie provides a touching moment when Effie and Haymitch kiss.  Viewers will have to decide if it was meant to be a romantic kiss or one that sweetly demonstrates their close bond over the years.  In fact, it was one of the better kisses in the movie.  Some of the other ones lacked some serious chemistry.
·         ADORABLE little blonde boy at the end.
·         I thought the idea and execution of the “pods” was super cool.
·         That black death water stuff was awesome.
·         SPOILER ALERT: President Snow’s subtle smile was perfect when he found out that Katniss had survived an attempt on her life.  He relishes the game.  Donald Sutherland does a great job ‘til the very end.
·         Pollux’s backpack looks like one of those roly poly bugs.  He sure is a sweet, brave character and well played by Elden Henson
·         It’s always good to see Julianne Moore, who plays President Alma Coin.
·         SPOILER ALERT:  Peeta brings Katniss a Primrose flower. So sweet.
·         I liked the “real or not real” conversations Peeta and Katniss have.
*  Jennifer Lawrence's nephew plays her son at the end of the movie.  He's a huge X-Men fan, although he tells her she's not a "real" X-Man.

Things I didn’t like:
·         The third part of the book series was unnecessarily broken into 2 movies.   Of course it’s all about making money.  The result is that these last two movies have a lot of slow moments in order to stretch out the source material.
      There wasn't a big, epic battle scene, but instead, a few minor skirmishes.
·         Very little humor. Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Effie (Elizabeth Banks) are much more subdued in this movie, whereas in former films, we could count on them for some comic relief.
·         I wish we could have seen more of Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman.  Thankfully, they gave more screen time to Elizabeth Banks than was originally written for her in the book.
·         Weird Tigress character.  Then again, she represents the extravagance of the Capitol.

Interesting lines:
·         “What’s going on in your head? – Gale (the handsome Liam Hemsworth)
“I don’t know. – Katniss
“It’s like kissing someone who’s drunk…it doesn’t count.”  - Gale
·         “It’s war Katniss.  Sometimes killing isn’t personal.  I would have thought out of all people, you’d know that.” – Gale
“I know it’s always personal.” – Katniss
·         “What about you, Mockingjay?  Feeling safe?” – Johanna  (Jena Malone)
“Til I got shot.” -  Katniss
·         Are you still trying to protect me?  Real or not real?” – Peeta (Josh Hutcherson)
“Real.  Because that’s what you and I do: keep each other alive.” - Katniss

Tips for Parents:
·         Blood, LOTS of violence with a high body count, and a lot of fire and explosions.
·         SPOILER ALERT: Several good characters die, which is sad, but especially traumatic are the deaths of children in one particular scene.
·         SPOILER ALERT:  There is a scary scene when Katniss and her comrades go underground and these creepy creatures attack them.  They're kind of like mutant, white zombies with no eyes and razor sharp teeth.  Super creepy.  I kinda wanted a closer look at them, but they were moving really fast.
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