Thursday, November 19, 2015

'The Hunger Games' Deserved Better Ending Than 'Mockingjay -- Part 2'

Well, I'm going to go see it either way.

But see Kenneth Turan, at the Los Angeles Times, "Movie Review: Jennifer Lawrence and 'The Hunger Games' deserved a better ending than 'Mockingjay -- Part 2'":
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2" is exactly what you would expect from its ungainly title, and that turns out to be not quite enough.

That's a bit sad because novelist Suzanne Collins' saga of resistance and rebellion in the totalitarian future state of Panem as led by redoubtable warrior Katniss Everdeen has been such a reliable staple of popular entertainment that it would be swell if the fourth and final film of the series ended things on a completely satisfying note.

And in truth many of the same elements of the previous films are present here. Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth return for the fourth time as ace archer Everdeen and her pair of devoted swains, director Francis Lawrence is back for his third film, and screenwriters Peter Craig and Danny Strong mark this as their second effort. Even the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who appeared in two other films in the franchise, is seen briefly in the finale.

On the level of stunts and action, "Mockingjay — Part 2" has its share of briskly executed, efficiently done set pieces as the rebellion against that nasty President Snow (Donald Sutherland) edges closer and closer to the Capitol.

But what made the best of the "Hunger Games" movies so effective was the emotional connection its shrewd plotting created by combining a coming-of-age saga, romantic rivalry and broader concerns about violent spectacle used to manipulate public opinion.

In theory, all this should come to a head in this final film, but the aesthetically misguided idea of breaking the final book into two films, commercially remunerative though it might have been, has ended up making the dragged-out proceedings feel anti-climactic and emotionally static...
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