The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Came out in London last week, So we went to the cinema to see how the final installment of Suzanne Collins epic book trilogy about a dystopian world and a war was going to end.
Her: I saw the first movie when it came out, I wasn’t sure what it was about because I hadn’t read the books yet.. I was certain there must be more in the book than the film showed (as in all books made to film). I read book 1 in a day and then went straight out and got books 2 and 3 and read them all in four days (yes all I did was read) Seriously I liked the books enough that I’m trying to get Him to read them! So when the next film came out I was there at the cinema on the first day of release, ready and waiting for the characters I loved to come to life. Then for the next film and those thereafter. My opinion on those films was that they didn’t come close to the books! They paid far too much attention to Katniss and her love life and not enough to some of the other characters (Cough Cough Finnick and Johanna) However this is not a review on the books or on the other films (But go read the books!) This time round I had mentally prepared myself for the final installment as I had read the books I knew exactly what to expect (tears) , gruesome deaths and all.
So popcorn at the ready, we shall begin…
I felt the beginning was all rather dull, lots of ‘oh poor Peeta’ and husky voiced Katniss, with lots of longing meaningful staring and not a lot else. I liked that Gale had more lines in this film than in the others and especially the ‘That’s like kissing a drunk, it doesn’t count!’ quote. There were a few odd moments with Johanna that I wish had been extended or written in full. Also I liked Annie in the books also and the wedding scene in the film seemed out of the blue and a filler, whereas in the book it was big ‘Fuck you’ to the capital, showing that there can still be happiness even in wartime. Paylor had hardly any involvement in the films, considering she was a big part of the books and would ultimately lead the future of Panem, so you would think they would have given her more screen time.
I liked the death scenes in the book (well I didn’t like them, but you know what I mean), so it was disappointing to see most of them cut from the film, just to satisfy the 12A rating and stop the families of small children crying in the back of the cinema (which did still happen!), yet still most of the deaths were skirted over too quickly still. The Mutts in the sewers were freaky, they weren’t what they were meant to be, but it gave the film a kind of horror feel, very reminiscent of the The Decent. The problem with the underground part was it was dark (which was good for the atmosphere and the realism) but it meant that when someone was attacked you didn’t know who it was.
The capital also looked far too ‘normal’ the books and the first film depicted the inhabitants of the central districts as being wonderfully eccentric and overly colorful in their style and costumes. Yet any inhabitant seen in this film looked rather drab, that is apart from Tigress who would have been better if they had used actual make-up and not CGI’d her. The end was meh but then again I never liked the sickly sweet ending anyway…
But all in all Finnick (Sam Clafin) was soooo handsome…. so yes that makes up for all the downfalls.
Him: I haven’t read the books but she told me all about them, when she read them, so I did have a slight understanding of what was going on and what should have been there. I did sit watching each installment wondering where all this backstory of Johanna and Finnick was and great character arcs were. Instead we got Katniss’ wishy washy love life between Gale and Peeta… So this new film didn’t disappoint in that regard. She still hankered after Peeta even after his attempted throttling of her at the end of Part 1 and still gave him lingering looks through the glass of his cell, even though he was a tortured pawn of Snow. The film got better once Katniss took it upon herself to be more than Coin’s puppet for the propaganda films and strike out on her own and headed for the capital. Once more the film was back on track, the devious pods (booby traps) and Mutts – the game makers creation that came to life in order to kill the rebels in the deserted parts of the capital- were clever and thrilling and had me enthralled, even a little creeped out at times (Lizard Mutts).
Donald Sutherland didn’t disappoint in his role as the evil President Snow, but his maniacal dealings in the book were watered down in the film and it would have been great to have seen more, still he gave a performance worthy of his filmography.
Others that I need to mention are Cressida (Natalie Dormer) who was my favorite character -she was the director and filmmaker after all- with cool hair and tattoos, what more did I need? Also Pollux her Avox cameraman had more to say in the book! than we got to learn in the films (Pun intended).
I did wish that Jena Malone had more screen time – I am a fan of her work – and I was entertained by her few lines in each film and the books once more had a lot more of Johanna Mason that was cut from the film script.
A final note on Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch) Having died midway through the last film I was amazed at how they managed to keep him in the films right up to the end, using the footage they had already shot and changing some of the story lines to accommodate his absence. It probably wasn’t his finest work and not the final role he would have chosen, but all the same he played a good role that wouldn’t be a bad way to be remembered.
So over all I would rather have watched the parts left on the cutting room floor rather than what made it into the final reel. But in all it was an entertaining two hours and I will watch it again – probably when I forget all that happened and need a refresher.