I just finished watching Mockingjay Part 2, so I decided I should write my review. I usually don’t do write reviews right after I watch the film, which usually makes remembering details a lot harder. I should do this more often. We’ll see…
In case you haven’t seen the movie and/or read the book yet, I suggest leaving now. Please. This is for your own sanity. Spoilers are evil.
Mockingjay Part 2 (MP2) starts out right where Part 1 (MP1) left off. However, something’s changed a little with Katniss. She isn’t as “Woe is me,” as she was in the first part. Not to say she was always this way in MP1, I just noticed it a lot as I was watching. In MP2, Katniss sucks it up and starts moving. Or at least, moving more. I think it had to do with the reintroduction of Peeta to the storyline. This helped move the plot along. I know all of this happened in the book, as well, and I hated Katniss’ pity party as I was reading, too, but watching it happen was more painful. I guess because in a movie you expect things to go pretty fast. But, like I said, things picked up in this one.
Jennifer Lawrence did a better job playing Katniss in MP2 than in MP1. I don’t think JLaw was used to Katniss being so pity-party-esque, either, so her acting felt off to me in MP1. In this one, she’s less of a pawn and more of a knight. As for the other actors, Josh Hutcherson—who I love as an actor and a person—is simply not how I picture Peeta. I think I say this every time I review any of the HG movies, but it’s true. I picture someone broader and taller. Someone who can actually pick up heavy weights and throw them around. However, he’s a good actor and he plays his part—crazy mutt/lover—well. Liam Hemsworth did a good job at making me dislike Gale, despite his attractive appearance. I wanted to shake the trigger-happy attitude right out of him.
Oh, and how many people couldn’t separate the MP2 actresses from their Game of Thrones’ roles? I was able to with Cressida/Natalie Dormor, but Commander Lyme/Gwendoline Christie? I could only think of as Brienne of Tarth. It didn’t help that I could hear her accent coming through. I was still happy to see her make her very small appearance, nonetheless.
The other characters, like Haymitch, President Snow, Coin, etc. were about the same as they were in the other movies. I didn’t see a lot of growth or anything, but I was glad they were there, especially Effie.
Moving on to the pace of the movie, I must say that it went a lot faster than MP1 (I’ve already given my suspicions as to why this is). And while 95% of the movie followed the book to the letter, I still don’t like how every time something major happens, Katniss really has no direct role in it. For instance, the actual takedown of Snow. Katniss passes out and BAM! the rebels are in. After all of her friends’ and teammates’ deaths, the rebels just get the job done. It really makes her entire plotline in the Capitol seem pointless. Again, that’s more of a book issue than a movie issue.
The only other thing I can think to talk about is the special effects. The pods, traps, and bombs were all done really well. Nothing was overly BOOMed, if that makes sense. The mutts in the sewers? Those things were freakin’ freaky. I did not picture them so… zombie-like. I pictured the mutts from the first Games. Maybe I missed something in my previous read-through of Mockingjay, but I really don’t remember them being so humanoid. Does anyone else?
So I’ve voiced a few of my complaints, but I must say that this movie is a very good rendition of a good book. Mockingjay isn’t my favorite book of the trilogy (obviously), but MP2 was done very well. I didn’t think I’d get as emotional as I did throughout the movie, so kudos to you, filmmakers and cast, you made me tear up a little. And curse you, Buttercup. Your scene caused me so much mental anguish.
All in all, there’s no reason for you to not go and watch this great finale to a great franchise.