The Hunger Games 3D: Mockingjay - Part 2

The revolution against the autocratic Capitol hits its boiling point in the second half of this adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ final Hunger Games book. Director Francis Lawrence returns from Catching Fire and Mockingjay - Part 1.

Picking up hot on the heels of Mockingjay - Part 1, this sequel follows Katniss Everdeen on a mission to the heart of the Capitol as she sets of to assassinate President Snow and bring Panem's brutal civil war to a swift end. Moving through the outskirts of the city with a team of familiar faces including Peeta, Gale, and Finnick, they find it boobytrapped with thousands of the most the deadliest devices Snow's Gamemakers could come up with. Pursued by peacekeepers and even more vicious assailants, every step could be the last for Katniss and her friends.

Trailers

Directed by

  • Francis Lawrence('The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1', 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire', 'I Am Legend', 'Water for Elephants')

Written by

Adventure, Science Fiction, 3D

137mins

Rating: M Mature themes, violence and horror sequence

USA

Official Site

The USP of Susanna Collins' YA franchise has always been – duh – the actual games. Outside the arena, the books are mostly awful, something the films, though expertly made, have to constantly overcome. Mockingjay – Part One, also directed by Francis Lawrence, took place entirely in war-torn Panem, and suffered accordingly, though its dying-fall ending was oddly beautiful.

This final entry should, in theory, be all climax as we follow Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and the rebels to the Capitol, where they must take down eeeevil President Snow (Donald Sutherland). In fact, it takes an age to get going, but once the dashing Finnick (Sam Claflin) declares, ironically, “Let the 76th hunger games begin!” for the next hour or so, it's game on.

In lieu of an actual arena, Katniss and co must cross a booby-trapped cityscape, a canny decision that leads to some of the series' greatest action sequences – the terrific tunnel fight, in particular, wouldn't be out of place in an Aliens film. J-Law remains world class, even as the interminable love triangle between Katniss, shell-shocked Peeta (Josh Hutchison) and brooding plank Gale (Liam Hemsworth) limps to a conclusion. The rest of the cast get short shrift, especially Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who died during filming, and is clumsily written in.

It's just a shame they couldn't have written out some of the endless, slightly cringey speeches, or pulled the plug before a dreadful Harry Potter-like coda. It's no fault of the Lawrences (no relation), but Part Two is one hour of excitement mixed with another of mush: a problem that goes right back to the source.

Empire (UK)

press

Its epic sweep, grand designs and unyielding central performance make this a compelling finale.

Total Film (UK)

press

Jennifer Lawrence shines once again in a fitting send-off for cinema’s best YA franchise.

Time Out London

press

It’s a bold statement about the unforgiving nature of war, unashamedly political in its motives and quietly devastating in its emotional effect.

Variety (USA)

press

We benefit from the fact that the film has been given room to breathe, which allows for subtle character moments...and the gradual building of suspense...

Guardian (UK)

press

A curious mess, starting off painfully slowly, then rushing when it really matters.

Hollywood Reporter

press

This is a dish that has been prepared over a low heat for a long time, which makes for some pretty slow-going early on.