A Bit Wanky
Never have I ever written such a good tag line on my reviews. It is childish, witty (if you are a child), amusing (if you have a 7 year old’s mental age) but also perfectly sums up what is essentially a lucklustre and wanky end to an almost-great franchise.
There’s nothing all that offensive about the film and is actually really well produced, much like the whole series, but it seems to lack any real direction or rather focus to what it’s trying to portray. Is this an action adventure? Well the first 2 films certainly seem to think so. Is this a dystopian journey of political intrigue and injustice well MockingJay Part 1 seemed to think so (you can read my review here).
So what is Mockingjay Part 2? Well it’s part romance, part horror, part action adventure, part melodrama, part sci-fi, part thriller, part fantasy, part sigh and part groan.
Turn on the news today and it seems like someone has thrown a load of Russians, some American gun nutters, David “bacon sandwich” Cameron, a handful of brainwashed religious morons and a whole bunch of epic drugs into a washing machine and waited for the madness to seep out. What better time could you need to make scathing political or social references? What better time to show you that yeah things went a bit meth-addict but hey, it all worked out in the end? Mockingjay isn’t any of this.
This Hunger Games fascinates me in potential because it’s a symbol of fighting oppression through the destruction of Snow. It’s a symbol of injustice with the capital ruling the districts for their leisure. It’s a symbol of hope that comes through the change that Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) initiates.
Reality is a harsher mistress though as by the end of the film you actually leave feeling kind of sorry for Snow. Sure, he’s as manipulative as any spin doctor and as tyrannical as Pol Pot but towards the end it is made out like he is just a political pawn too. That might have been OK if the last film started like this but not at the end of the 4th film where he has firmly been the arch nemesis the whole time. By turning this around it negates the feeling that they have been fighting oppression.
The idea of ruling classes and social hierarchy is lost at this point too as we have had people from the capitol aiding the districts and they continue to do so here as well.
What little hope is also whittled away by the questionable dialogue between Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Katniss. The drivelling lines of “real or not real” and the eventual deprogramming of Peeta comes in three seemingly un-related stages. First he fanatically wants to kill Katniss, then he’s a bit so-so, then suddenly he’s in love again and they live happily ever after.
If that sounds hopeful that’s probably because I haven’t mentioned that Katniss’s other love of her life Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) is shunned by Katniss although it’s never clear exactly why and that’s only after lots of her friends/acquaintances have died – many in the hands of the Sewer Mutts.
This is where the film is probably better than any of the other films. Katniss and her team roam the sewers in an attempt to reach Snow but fall foul of what can only be described as a naked version of Venom from the Marvel universe. The cheorography of this scene is excellent but it’s the build up that is most impressive by raising the tension but never falling for jump scares in the places you’d expect if this were any old horror film.
This whole section provides some of the most outrageous scenes whilst also being some of the most subtle and intelligent. It’s disappointing that the rest of the film could not live up to this standard because I had high hopes for all of the Hunger Games movies but I think this one was one of the weakest in the series.
You can easily draw comparisons between Mockingjay parts 1 and 2, and the Hobbit trilogy because there is way too much padding in these bloated films that simply didn’t need to be stretched into as many films as they were. Aesthetically the films look great but it doesn’t provide any consolation to the fact that there is very little in the way of impact of revelations and by trying to have a lot of everything in the series conclusion it also has a lot of nothing. Perhaps I’m just too finicky?!
- Well produced
- You’ve seen the last 3, so….
- Feeling sorry for snow
- No important messages and revelations
- It’s just a bit wanky!