Grosse Point Geek turns his critical eye to the fourth and final Hunger Games Movie…
Director: Francis Lawrence
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore.
Picking up directly where Mockingjay Part 1 finished, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) recovering from her attack by the brainwashed Peeta (Hutcherson), meanwhile the Resistance, led by President Coin (Moore) are preparing for all out war on Panem’s capital city.
Last i year i wrote a review of Mockingjay Part 1 – and whilst perfectly acceptable, it was nothing more than half a film. As a result i refused to give it a star rating as, basically how can you rate something that was incomplete?
So it was with much anticipation that last weekend i went to see this, the conclusion of the rather splendid Hunger Games series. Now what i expected was a full on action movie that (if the poster was to believed) promised to be chock full of action, gun fights, explosions and all manner of exciting escapism. What i got instead was sadly way short of the mark.
Frankly to say that this film was a disappointment of epic proportions would be the understatement of the millennium. Yes i will admit that it has it good points. For a start its universally well acted – the principal players ( Lawrence, Moore, Hoffman, Sutherland and especially Josh Hutcherson) are all excellent. Director Francis Lawrence builds up lots of tension, and a refreshing air of unpredictability, plus throws in some really good set pieces – in particular a lengthy underground chase sequence that proves to be relentlessly tense and very exciting.
However, just as things are starting to get really enjoyable, the whole film comes to an catastrophically unbelievable, soul crushing stop that totally ruins everything that has come before. Now without saying too much, what should have been a slam bang climax to what is, at its heart, an action franchise, ends up being nothing less than a total damp squib of the first order. Putting it mildly, never before have i been so disappointed as i was here.
Now in many cases the practice of splitting a film is understandable – The Hobbit, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter and even Kill Bill needed several chapters to tell their stories – however this final part of the Hunger Games did not. Overall when one looks at both the two Mockingjay films it becomes blindingly obvious that one instalment would have more than sufficed. Indeed had the studio had been driven by more than just how much money they could wring out of this now concluded franchise and had any respect for the fans, they could have delivered a film that should have had potentially Star Wars levels of action in it, rather than the bafflingly dull effort we have here.
In short – a huge letdown and a totally wasted opportunity.
Author: Will Strong