By Ranny Levy, Founder/President of KidsFirst!
This closing film to The Hunger Games trilogy shows Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion leading an army against President Snow. Her tragic journey finally comes to an end with this emotional finish. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Clayton P. comments, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is surprisingly more creative and suspenseful than all the prior films in the franchise.” See his full review below.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDEdei-xQOg
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is surprisingly more creative and suspenseful than all the prior films in the franchise. However, there are a couple of things about the film that are not fantastic. I don’t think that Jennifer Lawrence does a great job in this film. It seems as if she was asleep throughout the movie. This film again stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hucherson as Peeta Mellark. They are supported by Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The film is directed by Francis Lawrence, who directed all the Hunger Games films except the first.
At the beginning of the film, Katniss is recruited by Commander Coin (Julianne Moore) to lead the rebellion. They really want her to be the “face” of the rebellion and film fake skirmishes for the ever present media. Katniss plays along but her intent is to assassinate President Snow. Snow is ready for the rebellion. His generals plant POD traps (obstacles designed to release a weapon that can range from a bomb to a group of mutts) all over the Capital, which are motion sensitive. When someone comes near, flame throwers engulf them or huge machine guns appear and blow them up. The PODS are planted every few feet, so it is a deadly obstacle course for the rebels to try to make it through into the heart of the Capital. In the face of all this, Peeta, who had been psychologically tortured and brain-washed by Snow in Part 1, is now ordered to join Katniss on this mission. But, he is unstable and doesn’t have a grip on reality.
The best part of this film is the ending, which I can’t tell you about because of spoiler alert. But, rest assured, it is a great ending. The middle of the film is very action-packed, scary and suspenseful. Katniss, and the rebel force work their way through the PODS. I love this part of the film and the locations that were chosen. At one point, the rebel force goes down into the sewers to escape detection, adding a bit of horror to the action film setting. The supporting cast is great, especially Julianne Moore, who plays Commander Coin with great conviction.
The screenplay is interesting, especially the dialogue between Katniss and Peeta. Peeta keeps asking Katniss and the others if things are “real or not real” since he has a tenuous grip on reality, due to his brain-washing. I also like the song that plays during the end credits.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to the film besides Jennifer Lawrence’s performance. I feel that some of the fight sequences are not realistic. One last point I would like to make is that the uniqueness of The Hunger Games is the idea of the games themselves. There are no games in this film and I miss he whole survivalist concept of that.
Overall, I think this film is a great ending to The Hunger Games franchise. I give the film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 11 to 18, keeping in mind that there are some rather violent, scary scenes in the middle of the movie. This film opens November 20.