The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (12A)

With Peeta rescued from the Capitol and President Coin a powerful ally, can Katniss finally end The Hunger Games once and for all? Can she kill President Snow?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 starts of when the last movie left off. Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is still under the influence of the tracker jacker venom. He’s a manufactured Capitol Mutt. He has been brainwashed by the Capitol to hate Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and whilst the deadly liquid flows through his veins, Peeta will not rest until the Mockingjay is dead.

Whilst the doctors attempt to fix Peeta, Katniss sees the chance to help the rebellion once more as a welcome distraction. However she’s under strict orders to not engage in any real battle. Instead Katniss, Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and her propo team will follow the troops once the action has died down. But as comfortable with following rules as she is with being pleasant to President Coin (Julianne Moore), the precious Mockingjay defies orders.

Even better the propo team catch it all on film for all of Panem and the other districts to see. President Coin takes the victory as her own. The rebellion gains even more momentum and her precious Mockingjay helps to rally the troops and unite the districts.

But as time passes Katniss becomes to realise that she’ll soon be disposed of once she’s fulfilled her duties as the Mockingjay. Unwilling to continue being President Coin’s plaything and let the leader take her moment of revenge from her, Katniss sets off on a solo mission to kill President Snow (Donald Sutherland). But it isn’t long until her squadron show up, all determined to help Katniss carry out her deadly act.

Once President Coin hears of the rogue mission she is furious, wanting to take total control and credit for the attack on Panem and President Snow’s compound. But rather than admit Katniss is defying her once more, President Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) bend the truth one more time to make it look like the secret mission was President Coin’s plan all along.

But like anything that involves President Snow, the journey to his mansion won’t be any easy one. With bombs, mutts and boiling hot tar only one wrong step away the team will have to work together to survive.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 76th Hunger Games. And yes, you guessed it the battle will be televised to yet again teach the districts a lesson. It’s time for Katniss to break away from the shackles of being a propaganda tool and become the warrior that everyone needs her to be.

Katniss and her team use a holographic map called a Holo to evade “pods”, booby traps, in the Capitol. But despite her best efforts, one by one her team are picked off by President Snow’s devilish traps. Some sacrifice themselves for the greater good, whilst others perish in unimaginable ways.

Meanwhile the weaker President Snow grows, the more powerful President Coin becomes. She’s maniacal and will stop at nothing to rule Panem and the other districts. Even if Katniss successfully executes President Snow it would be like replacing one oppressor with another. The odds have never been in Katniss Everdeen’s favour and this Hunger Games is no exception.

The Hunger Games instantly transformed Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth into stars overnight. Without Suzanne Collins’ series I doubt we would have seen other books like The Maze Runner emerge and become so successful. Collins broke the mould with The Hunger Games; she created a whole new genre that didn’t portray young teens as weak or silly, but brave and strong. That has been to key to success of both the series and the movies.

The Hunger Games also triumphed because the story means so many different things to so many different people. It’s a story of war, peace and love, of one girls fight for her family, her friends and their future. Now it’s time to say goodbye to The Hunger Games franchise. But just how good was the last chapter in this exhilarating adventure?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is dramatic, heart-breaking and gutsy. Some critics have complained about the appearance of the mutts in the movie, saying that they are too scary for the big screen. But Collins never set out to make a fairy tale. It’s an incredibly gripping movie, leading you down once path only to send you down another, never letting you get your bearings. The 3D is incredible and I’m happy to report than unlike so many other movies, it really adds to the story.

This action-packed movie can be described in one word, bittersweet. I’m not going to give anything away but let’s say that the moments that I knew were coming because I’d read all the books, still took my breath away.

By Ruth Walker
★★★★★

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