Warning: Spoilers ahead
The final installment of the Hunger Games “trilogy” was released in theaters on Nov. 20.
In comparison to Mockingjay Part 1, this movie definitely had a quicker pace and way more action. However, there was so much going on that I couldn’t help but feel a little emotionally detached to the plot.
The plot is simple and somewhat predictable: Katniss’s (Jennifer Lawrence) main objective is to kill President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Factor that into the classic Hunger Games algorithm and what you’ll be left with is a story about Katniss doing what she thinks is right, becoming confused by everything around her, being faced with a big decision and doing her own thing to everyone’s surprise.
Like the previous films, it’s obvious that Katniss will find herself in dangerous situations and always get out of it. In true Hunger Games fashion, those around her will be killed off in return. Here’s a hint: if you can’t remember the character’s name, there’s a high chance he or she will die.
It’s clear that the goal of the film was to visually stimulate the audience and to end the series with a big bang. The trade-off was having a simple plot and not much character development. The film takes place over a period of at least six months even though it feels like the events take place in a week.
In fact, a lot of deaths in the film had little impact due to the lack of character development.
Many other characters that we’ve grown to love had only small appearances in the film. I personally would have loved to see more Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci); even five more seconds would’ve made me happy. Effie Trinket’s (Elizabeth Banks) loud outfits had a greater presence than she did.
The acting, nonetheless, did not disappoint. Donald Sutherland’s superb performance as president Snow was both terrifying and enthralling.
What I really kept an eye out for was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s appearances, or rather, lack thereof. Hoffman passed away in February 2014 in the midst of filming for Mockingjay Part 2. He had one major speaking scene left to film as Plutarch Heavensbee, the gamemaker of the seventy-fifth Hunger Games and fellow rebel in the revolution.
The film did not rely on computer generated imagery (CGI) or stand-ins for Hoffman’s appearances, but rather re-wrote the script. Plutarch was supposed to offer Katniss wisdom toward the end of the film. Instead of speaking in person, Plutarch offers his advice through a letter Haymitch Abernathy reads. The scene was masterfully reworked. Abernathy, one of Katniss’s most trusted friends and mentor, was the perfect candidate for this scene.
The film ends with a nice little epilogue showing Katniss, her husband and her kids. The scenery, lighting and camerawork are all cliché, but work well for this particular ending.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a post-apocalyptic revolution complete with lizard human mutations, a wedding, the bombing of children and a cat, this might be the film for you.