The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay – Part 2, rated PG-13
This is the final film based on the best-selling The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, with the second book unnecessarily being divided into two films which were filmed at the same time. And other than this film being too long at 137 minutes, I enjoyed it. It has an interesting story, with some twists, and some strong acting performances.
The series has boasted a strong cast, featuring performances by five actors or actresses who have been nominated for a total of fifteen Oscars – Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle), Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Messenger), Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, The Hours, Far From Heaven, and Still Alice), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, Doubt, Charlie Wilson’s War, and The Master), and Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones). Seymour Hoffman won for Capote (2005), Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and Moore for Still Alice (2014).
This film is directed by Francis Lawrence, who also directed 2014’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One and 2013’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The moving soundtrack features original music composed by James Newton Howard, who previously scored the first three films in the series. The script is written by Peter Craig and Danny Strong.
Jennifer Lawrence, one of my favorite actresses and already a three time Oscar nominee at age 25, portrays Katniss, the Mockingjay. She is courageous and is the people’s leader/warrior in the battle against President Snow and the Capitol.
The film picks up where Part 1 leaves off, with Katniss recovering from an attack by the Capitol brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss’s fellow District 12 tribute and fiancé. Katniss’s aim is to kill President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in order to bring peace to the war-torn Panem. She states “I’m going to kill Snow. He needs to see my eyes when I kill him.”
Members of Squad 451 are Gale (Liam Hemsworth), competing love interest for Katniss with Peeta, Finnick (Sam Claflin), Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and the soldier Boggs (Mahershala Ali). They are under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore), and Plutarch (Phillip Seymour Hoffman in his last screen performance, having died of a drug overdose in February, 2014 at age 46).
Squad 451 brings Peeta, who is struggling with memory loss and is emotionally unpredictable, on their way to President Snow’s mansion. Along the way they have to avoid a series of secret, frightening and deadly pods that surround the mansion. These scenes, especially the mutts, will be too scary for young viewers.
This film is based on a young adult novel, but it is not appropriate for young children. There is significant war violence and much killing, including of small children, in this film.