JEANNE'S REVIEW

 

Much like "Spectre", the latest James Bond Film currently number one at the box office until this weekend, fans of "The Hunger Games" trilogy do not care about critics' opinions regarding "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2". They will flock to see it --- and, they should.

 

For those of us who are not devotees of this bizarre and violent series of books supposedly for tweens/teens, you can safely stay away and not feel that you have missed anything --- even if you saw "Mockingjay - Part 1".

 

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is back as the leader of her merry band of revolutionaries, including Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and the unwell and questionable Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Katniss is determined to put an end to Panem's rule by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) --- or die trying.

 

I understand the allure of these books/movies, but I cannot condone the outlandish violence. In the first film, children are killing children. In "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" there are young children and babies being ripped from the arms of their parents. Have we not had enough of this barbaric treatment --- and do we need to classify this as entertainment?

 

Frankly, like David, I was bored to tears. And except for a few scenes with impressive set designs and lighting, particularly when Katniss and her crew are navigating their way through the Capitol, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" is once again waaaaaayyyyyyy too long. Not having read the books, it still is quite obvious that this third installment could have been made into one film, not two.

 

The only good thing I can write about "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" is watching Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee one last time. Admittedly, when he first appears on screen, I was momentarily shocked, but it is so good to have him present --- if only for a short time.

He was the best --- and he is greatly missed.

 

Though I did not know the ending, I knew exactly what Katniss was going to do when she raised her bow-and-arrow for the last time. It was not difficult to predict. I am, however, still trying to understand Suzanne Collins' grotesque and abhorrent use of violence.

 

Opinion: Don't Bother! (unless you must because you've read the books)

 

DAVID'S REVIEW

 

Everyone who has followed "The Hunger Games" films, and readers of Suzanne Collins' wildly popular novels, knew that it was just a money grab to split the finale into two segments. "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" was a deadly bore, so it comes as no shock that "Mockingjay - Part 2" is equally dull. Aside from one major surprise, at least to non-readers of the books, there is nothing else that breaks the tedium of sitting through two plus hours of this franchise that has worn out its welcome.

 

Even our free screening attended by the public was only partially full, and there was a mere smattering of applause at the end. "Mockingjay - Part 2" focuses on Katniss Everdeen's (Jennifer Lawrence) desire to do away with the evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Her resolve is multiplied a hundred fold due to a tragic event, providing Katniss another chance to show off her considerable archery prowess.

 

But let's be honest. The first ever "The Hunger Games" that introduced all the characters and the games themselves was much more fun, so the inevitable sequels had a built-in obstacle to continue to impress us. The special effects, such a critical element to the franchise, are anything but special. "Spoiler Alert" --- What? A river of tar that forces Katniss and friends to seek higher ground?

 

"Part 2" includes what are essentially cameos for Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinkett), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman) and Jeffrey Wright (Beetee). And then there's the unsettling appearance of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee). His role in this finale seems totally inappropriate as an ending to his distinguished career. Several of the other main characters, like Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), and even the great Julianne Moore (President Coin), are going through the motions, while Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark) overacts terribly.

 

Bottom line: there are so many better films out there on which people should spend their time and money.

 

Opinion: Don't Bother! (unless your life would be unfulfilled by not seeing the ending)