Mockingjay 2: Thank Katniss, It’s Finally Over!

Hunger Games part2The YA film community has finally hit its last hurrah. The Hunger Games, the flagship of their current generation, after Harry Potter, and Twilight, has finally run its course.

Personally, I am glad. I found the series as a whole to be resoundingly hollow.

I have a bone to pick with the author and screenwriter’s intents with Katniss, the character that has entered the same lexicon as Charlie Brown and Voldemort. Everyone knows Katniss. She’s the bad-@$$ with the bow and arrow. This finale to the series just proved how little I cared for  the concept and characters that came with. Here Katniss is still recovering from the PTSD acquired during the events of the first two flicks as well as the harrowing denouement of Mockingjay Part I, but for this reviewer, I just felt as she probably felt: empty. She sees or hears about bad things that happen to those around her and then she shoots bad guys with arrows. The gratifying moments just don’t ring true.

Hunger Games Part 2Jennifer Lawrence is not to blame here. The director and screenwriters messed it up, she’s just dealing with what she’s given.

My other massive problem with the movie deals with Gale (Liam Hemsworth). The other Hemsworth that has had trouble finding success outside of his big brother’s shadow. Every moment he appeared on screen was punctuated by a massive yawn. Whoever cast this man should have been fired. So much of this movie concerns a bloody love triangle between him, Katniss, and Peeta that anyone with a third-grade education can call from frame 1.

This does not necessarily mean the movie is a total disaster. Donald Sutherland milks every moment he has on screen to fill the air with menace as well as charming sociopolitical intrigue. [SPOILERS] His final moments are among the most chilling in the whole series. [END SPOILERS]

I have always considered myself a little biased against The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins created a series and concept that was lauded by critics and readers as wholly original and earth-shattering… except for the tiny fact that the title centerpiece is a clear adaptation of cult classic Battle Royale, a gory satire from Japan.*

I don’t like plagiarists, I despise plagiarists who don’t admit when they’ve been caught. I don’t respect people who lie to avoid blame getting caught in the cookie jar. Quentin Tarantino has been accused of this as well. Reservoir Dogs can be interpreted as an American remake of a Hong Kong film called City on Fire. And his use of the word homage to escape lawsuits is borderline theft.

Hunger Games Part 2The action was middling, the music okay, the settings standard dystopian action fare, I just felt bored the entire movie. Every other reviewer mentions the stunning homage to ALIENS halfway into the movie. Yes, I caught it. James Cameron still did it better. Heck, I was getting FURY ROAD flashbacks when albino xenomorphs started popping out of the walls for a bloodless^ massacre in the sewer. Every supporting character we followed felt expendable, which surprise, surprise, they were! This series would have been much more interesting told from the point of view of the psychotic Johanna (Jena Malone). At least there would have been bursts of giggling fury from her.

*Isn’t it funny? Hunger Games steals from Battle Royale, then Divergent outright steals from Hunger Games. The wheel of cinematic inbreeding continues to spin.

^I really dislike “edgy” PG-13 action films that showcase carnage and horrific things, only escaping the dreaded R-rating by excising all the blood. Stop it, Hollywood. This is getting annoying.