Sunday, November 22, 2015

'The Hunger Games' Saga Ends Satisfactorily with 'Mockingjay Part 2'

As the title plainly suggests, this movie is the second of the two-part film adaptation of Mockingjay – the last book of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  As the last installment of the film series, Mockingjay Part 2 delivers a satisfying conclusion to the saga… but not an emphatic one.

Mockingjay Part 2 is definitely better than Part 1.  But my main issues with Part 1 are the same with Part 2 – uneven pacing; too much tedious and unnecessary talking; and a padded, dragging narrative.  Simply, Mockingjay suffered from being divided into two parts.  This Hollywood practice of making the last chapter of a film series (especially those adapted from popular book series) a two-parter is something I really wish would stop already.  I hate it.

It’s worth mentioning also that before I went to watch Mockingjay Part 2, I re-watched Part 1 first.  I was hoping that I will get to have a better appreciation for the overall story if I watched the two movies successively (as I was hoping when I watched Part 1 for the first time last year).  But, no, it only enforced my assessment that it was unnecessarily stretched into two parts.

The Hunger Games franchise is by far the most thoughtful and fascinating (though not quite original) among movie franchises based on YA novel series.  However, to be honest, the first two movies – especially Catching Fire – are the only ones I can really say I immensely liked.  Those two movies are very engaging and heavily defined Katniss Everdeen for me as a character – making her one of my most favorite female characters in fiction.  But the last two movies aren’t that great, and they made me re-evaluate if my fondness for Katniss is really warranted.

Mockingjay Part 2 has its share of thrilling and moving moments.  But, again, the pacing is poor, thus, these moments are far and few between.  Also, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss remains a delight, though I wasn’t that much absorbed on the character as I was in the first two movies.  So despite being a good movie by itself, Mockingjay Part 2 doesn’t have enough oomph to wrap-up The Hunger Games film series with an impressive bang, settling instead with a passable whimper.

No comments: