The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part II

02/15/2017 16:52

Film: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II

Year: 2015

Director: Francis Lawrence

Writer: Peter Craig and Danny Strong

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth



This film begins where the last one ended. Jennifer Lawrence is being checked out by a doctor and she has horrible bruises on her neck. She has trouble speaking, but it is healing. This occurred due to her former fiancé, played by Josh Hutcherson. We see him being strapped down in a different room. With Lawrence is her mentor, played by Woody Harrelson. Lawrence’s younger sister goes in to see him; she is played by Willow Shields. They speak with Shields trying to convince him that the capital and their president, played by Donald Sutherland, has brainwashed him to think horrible things about her.

Lawrence decides that she cannot stay in District 13, where the rebellion started and is headquartered. She wants to go to the capital to kill Sutherland, but it is revealed by the president of the rebellion, played by Julianne Moore, that it is not possible. District 2, which was loyal to the capital even before the rebellion, is still fighting and the leadership there are held up within a mountain where they mined metal. Lawrence goes there with Liam Hemsworth, the young man that she grew up and hunted with in District 12. Lawrence for the most part has been a figurehead to help inspire the rebels and keep up moral. She starts to film a propaganda piece in District 2 with Natalie Dormer directing and Elden Henson filming it.

There is a train that comes out with the surrendering soldiers. It is a ruse as some start to fire on the rebels. Lawrence runs forward and gives a speech. One of them pulls a gun on her and she stares him down. She is then shot by another.

While she is in the hospital, she is visited by another tribute from a different district; this one is played by Jena Malone. She is bald and addicted to drugs due to the traumas she has had to deal with. She isn’t very pleasant either.

Once Lawrence has recovered she goes back to Moore and the former game keeper, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, are having a meeting. Lawrence wants to go back to the front lines and she is told that is out of the question. She is to stay in District 13 and to do propaganda videos. Another tribute Sam Claflin gets married to his girlfriend, which is televised. Lawrence is alerted that there is a ship of supplies going to the capital. She sneaks aboard it.

Much to the dismay of Moore and Hoffman, it is revealed she is in the capital. Lawrence is placed in an elite unit that is led by Mahershala Ali. Also in it are Hemsworth, Dormer and Henson among others. Lawrence is upset that she will not see forward combat. There are soldiers patrolling all over the city as well pods that have traps within them. They don’t know where they all are, but they have a machine that will help them discover the locations.

They head out, filming propaganda when they can and then there is an order to have Hutcherson brought to the unit as well. He is shackled the whole time, unless they need to film. We see as they set off pods as well. That is until they come to one that wasn’t on the map. It blows up, killing Ali as well as another. The sister of one of the soldiers sets off another and they must flee from black tar. Hutcherson tries to kill Lawrence, but he is stopped. They seek refuge on the upper levels of a building.

Before Ali died, he turned over control of the machine to Lawrence. She then convinces the unit that is on a secret mission to assassinate Sutherland. Everyone agrees with this and they continue on. They must deal with more pods, soldiers and even going into the sewer to continue their journey. Down there they find something much worse than above. Will they make it to the capital building? Will Lawrence succeed in her mission? What will happen to these scarred teens?

I have to say that I found this second part to be better than the previous one. This one actually shows a lot more of the psychology effects that the Hunger Games had on the participants and those that had to deal with a second one. I also like that one had a lot of pretty scary parts, especially in the sewer. I thought the acting was pretty solid across the board. I have read the books before watching this one, so I knew how it would end, but the twist still shocked me. I think it is great how it ends and what is prevented.

The biggest issue I had with this film is that it does come off as a little boring at times. I’m not really sure why that is, but it lost my attention at times. This film along with the one previous is more adult than the first or second, but it still is aimed at that teenage crowd. I like the concept though and it is much better when directed toward adults. I also still am not a huge fan of the love triangle between Lawrence, Hutcherson and Hemsworth.

I am adding this film to the horror film research due to the mutts that are found in the sewers of this film. They are quite creepy looking. On top of that, I am adding this due to the psychological damage that has been done to Lawrence, Hutcherson and the other tributes trying to deal being forced to kill others and the horrors they experienced in the games.

Now with all of this said, I would recommend this film if you like the series. I still find the second film to be the best, but this one is better than part one. The acting isn’t bad across the board. The film is a little bit boring, but I like the ending and the twist that happens there. This film is a borderline horror film due to the monsters they encounter, the effects of the brainwashing and the trauma these teens had to deal with. This series isn’t the best, but it is interesting and enjoyable.


My Rating: 7 out of 10