PLOT - This is the final installment in the film franchise adaptation of Suzanne Collins' young adult series, The Hunger Games. Picking up in the middle of the third book, MockingJay Part 2, finds heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), siding with the resistance and recovering from a violent attack by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who during his captivity with President Snow (Donald Sutherland), was conditioned to hate and mistrust Katniss.
The leader of the resistance, Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) wants to use Katniss and the other former tributes, to rally all of the districts to topple Panem and oust President Snow. As Katniss fights for the resistance, she begins to discover that not everyone is trust-worthy and that President Snow, might not be her only adversary.
LIKE- I don't often read YA fiction, but as The Hunger Games was an enormous hit, I gave it a go. I really enjoyed both the book series and the film adaptations. Although I read the book first, it was so long ago, that I truly didn't remember anything about this fourth film. I have no idea if it stayed true to the book, because my memory wasn't even jogged while I was watching it. The plot was a completely surprise. I enjoyed the various "game" traps that were set up around the capital to thwart the rebels. Collins did a great job with world-building in her series and I loved seeing it come to life in the films. It's very imaginative.
This last film is bleak and heavy. It's graphically violent ( not for children younger than older teens) and deals with heavy subjects, like PTSD. I did like the first two films more for their inclusion of fun/lighter moments- the Effie Trinket and Caesar Flickerman bits, used to balance the horror. This final film is 100% heavy and couldn't have been otherwise. It's the natural conclusion to the story.
The casting of the franchise couldn't have been more perfect, tons of star power. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was one of my favorite actors and it is bittersweet to see him in his last role.
DISLIKE- Admittedly, it ran a little long, especially in the first third. It's always a little funny when they split a single book into two films.
I enjoyed it, but Dan didn't. He enjoyed his nap instead. Afterwards, he asked why we would go to a teen movie. True, we were a little older than the target audience and there were some teenage girls getting all excited over Peeta and Gale ( Liam Hemsworth). For the record, #teampeeta!
RECOMMEND- If you're a fan of the franchise, you've got to see MockingJay Part 2. If you haven't seen the others, don't bother coming in at the end. This last installment took three films to build to the conclusion and you're missing too much info (character development) to enjoy this as an isolated experience.