Review: ‘Mockingjay Part 2’ works, but not as well as it could have

Timothy Page, Arapahoe Pinnacle Movie Critic

It’s becoming an increasing trend to split the final film of a franchise into two parts, and it’s starting to get old.

The last movie “Mockingjay Part 1” was a solid film, but it felt extended and padded out. That’s because the book is only 300-400 pages long. There was no need to split it, and it ends up hurting a very strong series of movies in the process.

Katniss starts “Mockingjay Part 2” exactly where the first left off, hurt by someone she loves and ready to go out for revenge against President Snow (A fantastically slimy Donald Sutherland). It starts and really never slows up. It’s meant to be a final showdown and it is, Katniss is willing to give up everything just to end this war.

It sets up for some very impressive set pieces and intense moments, but it just feels a bit off. It’s like “The Hobbit” films, where “The Desolation of Smaug” ends on a pretty intense cliffhanger, “The Battle of the Five Armies” felt off, and not as investing, because of the last movie’s ending.

The same rings true here. ‘Part 1’ ends on a very intense and emotional note, and this film starts on the ending of that note and honestly never really picked up for me. It’s a fast moving film, but it never reaches the emotional peak that it was intending to reach.

It’s not a bad movie really, but if you’ve never seen a ‘Hunger Games’ film before, you won’t have a clue about what’s going on.

However, if you like the three other films, you’ll be satisfied by this movie. It’s dark, violent, and pretty jarring in a few scenes. Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson is great as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth is decent as Gale. Elizabeth Banks is given a few scenes as Effie Trikent, and of course kills it in those few moments.

Really, if you’re a fan of this franchise, you’ve probably already seen this film. It’s a dark war movie that ends up giving us a well done conclusion of this franchise. The fact that it’s a “Part 2” will alienate the average film goer, but fans of the franchise are left with a satisfying ending to a well done series of movies.

Let’s just hope this trend of two parts ends sooner rather than later.

Rating: 3.5/5 The two parts make this finale feel a little over drawn at times, but fans will leave satisfied at a solid conclusion to the series.