1st Impressions: MockingJay Part 2

The Final Chapter in the Hunger Games Franchise

The Hunger games franchise will come to a close with MockingJay Part 2, the film adaptation of the third book in the series. We’ve watched as Katniss, Peeta, Gale, and the crew have grown from rural survivalist, into rebel leaders. This franchise has been met with much fanfare. The films feature a female protagonist, your topical dystopian future, and plenty of action and drama. MockingJay Part 1 was a bit of a letdown for many film-goers. Does MockingJay Part 2 do enough to both redeem and close the franchise satisfactorily? I believe so, and here is why.

MockingJay Part 2 revolves around the siege and invasion of the capital. Of course the final battle will not be easy as the entire city is engulfed with traps. That’s not a spoiler, that information was released in the trailers. Of course Katniss can’t stay out of the fight. Enraged by the violence and death around her, Katniss decides to take the fight to President Snow himself.

mockingjay2posterIt appears the writers and powers that be learned from the mistakes of the first Mockingjay film. The scope of the film was narrowed. The main focus was again solely on Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. Yes there is a war happening all around them. The director and writer did an excellent job of immersing the viewer into a battlefield without taking the focus off of Katniss and the main characters.

The theme of trust was prevalent throughout the film. This was mainly carried out through the interactions of Peeta and Katniss. This certainly added a spark into the love triangle. Peeta and Katniss basically have to start over. Of course Gale is still around as well and is still competing for Katniss’s affection. Trust is a theme that re-appears throughout the movie and involves a major aspect of the plot.

MockingJay Part 2 was as dark in tone as the previous films. It wasn’t necessarily less dark as far as the context of the material. I would say that the characters seemed more serious. There were less breaks in the reality of the war, even for characters like Caesar Flickerman.

katniss crowd

One thing that all of the films in the franchise have done really well is create tense moments. This movie does not disappoint. There are some corny moments that you realize are coming. However, overall the director and the film itself did an excellent job of creating real, tense, moments that push the plot forward.

Diversity is highly noticeable in this franchise. The main character is a female protagonist. But each film has added an additional layer of diversity as the world of the franchise was expanded upon. This film showcases plenty of strong female and minority characters. Most importantly, These characters weren’t just for appearances. Each of these characters were developed and grew depending on their particular role in the plot. It is one of the first major franchise dystopian films that actually seem to reflect a world that’s just as diverse as our own.

MockingJay Part 2 was a thrilling and satisfying ride. It wasn’t a pretty film and had its flaws, such as what seemed like multiple endings. I am still of the opinion that Part 1 and Part 2 could have been condensed into one film. However, I applaud the results of Part 2. This movie redeemed the lackluster of MockingJay Part 1 and tied up the franchise nicely.

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