HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
12 Hour Shift
Filmmaker's House, The
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
   
 
  Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part Two Game Over
Year: 2015
Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Mahershala Ali, Jena Malone, Natalie Dormer, Jeffrey Wright, Paula Malcomson
Genre: Drama, Action, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: All-out war rages across Panem as the free districts prepare their final assault against the Capital. A battered and shaken Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) goes looking for revenge on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) for the brainwashing of her friend Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) who has just tried to kill her. Joining an assault team led by on-off boyfriend Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Katniss must overcome fiendish death-traps, subterranean mutants and the political machinations of District 13 leader Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) if she has any hope of ending the war or saving her family, to say nothing of emerging from this nightmare with her sanity intact.

And so the most idea-driven young adult fantasy film franchise comes to a close with its grimmest, most incendiary chapter. Picking up right where The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part One (2014) left off, Part Two's searing images of carpet bombings, street battles, terror attacks and mass civilian casualties, including children, make for pertinent IF undeniably uncomfortable viewing in light of recent events. Harrowing yet thought-provoking the film branches further away from the teen adventure narrative of earlier episodes into the realm of the war movie. Here, in a fiendishly logical twist on the already cruel premise of the original Hunger Games, the Capital turns war into a grand television spectacle, amping up each twist and turn for the masses. Amidst the grandiose set-pieces sits a biting satire of media manipulation for political purposes. Perhaps the true overarching theme of the Hunger Games series, as conceived by source author Suzanne Collins, is to look beyond the surface, think for yourself and not simply follow the masses. Katniss Everdeen is a stand-in for the young people who today negotiate a similar minefield of mixed messages and political agendas on television and social media. For all its harrowing drama this is a story of survival and renewal albeit one that, to Collins' credit, does not gloss over the psychological toll taken on its heroine.

If Part Two remains an uneven narrative it is the inevitable result of the current trend for cleaving the concluding installments of serials into separate halves. Like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), the giddy rush to pay off questions posed by the more contemplative first half results in a somewhat unbalanced film. As always the glue that holds everything together is a powerhouse performance from Jennifer Lawrence. All the horrors of this dystopian future register on her beautifully expressive face. Part two continues to show Katniss taking charge of her own image, moving away from a mere survivor, political pawn or media construct to become the hero people may not necessarily know they want but clearly need. Her newfound determination is also reflected in the resolution to the central love triangle. Despite the carping of some fans and critics it is resolved satisfyingly and, in a cruel irony, at the expense of the one thing Katniss held dear throughout the entire saga.

Elsewhere, if the abundance of new characters introduced in part one continue to leave less room for scene-stealers like Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), at the very least the late Philip Seymour Hoffman yet again reveals what a gifted actor he was even in his few moments of screen time. While it is somewhat disappointing we never get to see preening pompadour TV host Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) get his much-deserved comeuppance, Donald Sutherland brings new dimensions to the monstrous President Snow. Francis Lawrence reworks familiar motifs from the series in increasingly inventive, not to say chilling ways. On a purely visceral level the sewer battle with the hideous H.R. Giger-esque mutants is especially powerful, maybe too unsettling for younger viewers. Yet even this tautly executed suspense set-piece pales by comparison with the impact of the many war atrocities. Not many fantasy film franchises could get away with such loaded imagery but unlike the fictional games staged by the Capital, from beginning to end the Hunger Games movies have been a class act.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1932 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: