The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Blu-ray Review
The Hunger Games are finally over. After four films and one superstar making turn, the most popular YA adaptation has shut down. Any conversation about the final two chapters has to start and stop with the question; did they really need to stretch this into two movies? And the answer is a resounding “no”. The first Mockingjay suffered from too little action and the second one suffered from too much. The first film had too much focus on character feelings and motivations and the second didn’t focus enough. That tells me that with some swift editing, there could have been a single great film instead of two decent films.
We left off Mockingjay Part 1 with Peeta having gone crazy after being captured by President Snow, Katniss was anxious to get revenge and President Coin teetering on the line between good and evil. We pick up in Part 2 Katniss determined to be a part of the siege on the Capitol. But Snow has set up a series of traps designed by the original game designers and so there’s an obstacle at every turn. Katniss joins a team of all the former champions, but soon takes over and leads them on an assassination mission, aimed at Snow. But what Katniss doesn’t know is that the real evil might be on her own team.
In many ways, everything that happens in Part 2 is a spoiler since the first half of the movie came out a year earlier, but when it comes to the plot, I don’t have many complaints. I felt they rushed some of the decisions of the resistance leadership, but the films weren’t really about the old people on the screen. Where Part 2 excels once again was with the performances from its young stars, most notably Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. Everyone knows how great Lawrence is, but this was the first time Hutcherson had a chance to shine. After the first couple of films, I couldn’t understand why Hutcherson wanted to play Peeta so bad, but the last two films justified his eagerness.
Looking at the films as a whole, I feel satisfied with the way Part 2 played out and ended. It was a fitting end the series and even though the last two films felt longer than they needed to be, I have no complaints as far as the way the story came a to a close. Sometimes with these YA adaptations, the setup doesn’t justify the ending or the ending might feel forced, but with The Hunger Games, everything made sense, at least for the world they’ve created.
Although clearly better than the Twilight series, I think The Hunger Games will suffer the same fate once the shine wears off. These are not great films that appeal to the masses, but rather they’re good films that work for what they are. Part 2 wraps things up nicely, even though there was absolutely no need for a two-part finale.
Video: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 looks wonderful on Blu-ray
Audio: The audio was fine.
Commentary with Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson: This is a decent commentary from the director and producer, covering just about everything you’d expect from a technical-driven commentary. I wanted to know Lawrence’s opinion on the splitting of the two films, but they didn’t touch on it very much.
Pawns No More: the Making of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2:21:40): This is an excellent eight part making of documentary that covers everything you wanted to know about the making of the film.
Cinna’s Sketchbook: Secrets of the Mockingjay Armor (9:20): A look at the costumes used in the film.
Panem on Display: the Hunger Games: The Exhibition (2:00): This is a short promo piece for the traveling Hunger Games exhibition of memorabilia from the films.
Jet to the Set (42:01): This is a decent set-visit type featurette following around some cast and crew members on The Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games: A Photographic Journey (10:15): Ten minutes worth of stills from photographer Murray Close.