Alas, we have come to the end of another best selling books series that was made into movies. Today, November 20, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” hits theaters all over South Florida and around the world. It’s certain to be the #1 movie this weekend and go on to be a huge blockbuster. Sadly, the series goes out on a sour note as it is not only the weakest entry of them all, it is also one of the worst movies of 2015.
We pick up right where the last movie left off. Peeta (Peeta Mellark) has been rescued from the Capital, but tried to choke Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) as soon as he saw her. The rebels are planning their final assault on President Snow (Donald Sutherland), but he and the game makers have put plenty of obstacles in their way to crush this new rebellion once and for all.
The first thing you will notice about “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” is how dark it is and that’s not talking about the tone of the movie. It looks like director Francis Lawrence put a blue filter on the camera lens and kept it on for the entire production. It just makes the movie harder to see. Everything sounds louder too. Apparently the formula for a final chapter is to make it darker and louder.
If you have been watching these movies from the start, but have only seen them in the movies, you better have a good memory. Unless you have just finished watching “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” it’s a little hard to know exactly who everyone is and sometimes what’s going on. You may end up asking yourself, “Wait, who’s getting married right now? Who’s that bald girl Katniss is talking to? Who just died?” If you have read the books, you probably know who is who and what’s going on, but if you have only watched the movies, you may end up confused to the point where you don’t even care who dies.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” is a prime example of what happens when a studio splits a final chapter into two parts instead of making just one movie. The running time is over two hours long and it feels like it was stretched out that way at the cost of making a good story. The last movie was quite enjoyable, but this time it really drags out to the point where it is just boring, There are scenes, like the aforementioned wedding, that adds nothing to the plot. If the Mockingjay novel was made into just one movie, you can’t help to think it would have moved along much faster and been more entertaining, than what this final product ended up being. We know why they made it into two just by looking at Harry Potter and Twilight, why make a ton of money on the last chapter of a series when you can make double the cash when you split them up into two? Who cares if the story is not as strong?
Francis Lawrence did a good job on the last movie, but not so much when he did “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” so this was going to be his tie breaker. He lost. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” often puts too much effort to have moments. It may be during one of Katniss’ monologues/speeches (yes, there are more of those), or have something to do with the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale and there are more than a few times where the musical score is so overpowering in a scene that it just reeks of effort, but never finds the mark. Even the action scenes are not noteworthy here.
It doesn’t really matter that “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” will be among the top ten worst movies of the year. Lionsgate doesn’t care, they only care about the bottom line. Good for them, bad for the fans. It is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material.