***SPOILER FREE REVIEW***
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Based on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.
Well, I was attempting to take a week off from blogging but I just watched the final Hunger Games film so figured I should say something about it before the weekend (I also watched Steve Jobs this week but a review for that can wait until next week). Hmmmmmmmm……. Mockingjay – Part 2………….. What can I say? I want to stay very spoiler-free, even for those who’ve read the books as I’m sure the readers will be very curious to know if certain things get changed. But I’m not going to tell you! I can say that I’ve read the books and was a very big fan (of the first two, at least. like most people). I also think the first two films are very good. These final two, though? Well… I’ll get to that more in a bit.
What’s interesting is that my husband, who hasn’t read the books, had quite a different reaction to this film than I did. He thought the first two were good but did NOT like these final two. He had a lot to say about it but I’m not going to go into any of that – I just find it interesting that he disliked these final two so much & wonder if others who haven’t read the books will have the same reaction that he did. I think they probably will. I think they’ll feel exactly the same way about the final two films as us book readers felt about the final book.
I think The Hunger Games book trilogy is fantastic. I know it’s “YA”, which puts some people off. But it’s nothing like things such as Twilight – Collins is a great writer and the first two books are two of my very favorites that I’ve read in the past decade or so. Yeah – the first two. Not the final book. I think most readers felt the same way about that one.
I don’t know how to go about reviewing this movie as, for me, it’s impossible to review it on its own & not compare it to the book. No, I didn’t like the final book. So… I was never going to love the final two movies (not helped by the fact that splitting one book into two movies pisses me the hell off). As a whole, though, these movies are quite faithful adaptations & that’s always very important to me. It’s been a long time since I read these but Mockingjay – Part 2 is very faithful from what I remember (without giving away to the books’ readers whether or not anything big was changed). So, I can’t fault the two Mockingjay films. They did what they could with them and remained pretty loyal to the source material. Which is great! It’s just unfortunate that the source material isn’t so great.
I haven’t reviewed the first film as I wasn’t blogging yet but I reviewed Catching Fire (HERE) and Mockingjay – Part 1 (HERE). Catching Fire was really good (I gave it 8/10) but Mockingjay – Part 1 felt pointless as there was no need to turn it into two films (I gave it 7/10). Part 2 is at least a bit better than Part 1 since you finally get a conclusion instead of being left hanging halfway through a story. I once again enjoyed re-visiting these characters & stand by my opinion that Jennifer Lawrence was the perfect choice to play Katniss (although the hubby thought she seemed bored in these last two films, which I don’t totally agree with but do admit that it did feel that way a little at times).
Elizabeth Banks & Woody Harrelson have very small roles in this final film, which is a shame as they’re two great characters. The character of Peeta is once again a bit of a bore (sorry if you like him! but his character is a bit bland). One big complaint I’ve had all along & still have is that I don’t think they developed the character of Primrose (sister of Katniss) enough. Well, the books were kind of guilty of this as well if I remember correctly but they should have given more screen time to the two sisters and slightly less to the somewhat annoying love triangle. I don’t think the films fully gave you the sense of love that Katniss has for her sister and also felt they didn’t fully explain some important plot points to a movie audience that hasn’t read the books. I think I’d have been slightly lost during the two Mockingjay films if I hadn’t read the books.
I really want to hear from you guys what you all thought of this one & whether or not you’ve read the books. I’ve not yet read any other reviews so don’t know what kind of reaction this movie is getting but I’d guess that those who haven’t read the books will feel the way that my hubby did & won’t really like this film. As I said, I can’t really fault this movie as it’s a good adaptation and I think they’ve done a pretty great job in choosing the cast for this entire series (especially Lawrence). Mockingjay – Part 2 is a good film but I kind of lost interest in it in the same way I did with the final book. Obviously you’ll want to see it if you’ve watched all the others but don’t expect it to be much different than Part 1. However you felt about Part 1, you’ll probably feel the same about Part 2.
Sorry for that rather uninformative review! It’s a very hard one to talk about without spoiling things so feel free to discuss it with me further in the comments. 🙂 Just try to put a spoiler warning at the start.
My Rating: 7/10
I suppose I ought to watch this since I’ve seen the other three but I have very little enthusiasm unfortunately! I agree Peeta is a bore and your husband’s reaction is a lot like mine so far…I liked the first couple but didn’t really enjoy the third all that much. (I’m a non-book reading viewer.) Hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised but I get the feeling three films would have been enough.
Yeah… I think you’ll end up feeling the same way as my hubby did about it. I think he likes Part 2 even less now than just after watching it – he has complained about it a lot! Lol. Definitely could have just been one movie. Worth watching since you’ve seen the rest but don’t have high expectations. 😦
Haven’t seen it yet but it’s disappointing to hear that Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson have limited roles seen as they have been such big parts of the franchise so far. I’ll let you know what I think when I get round to watching it
Yeah – a lot of the characters really get swept aside in the final film (and book). Which sucks. 😦 Let me know what you think! My hubby REALLY didn’t like it…
Saw it last night, I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. There are a lot of slow moments but I think the action more than makes up for it. Having read the book I knew how it ended and it did feel a little corny but I’m happy I saw the franchise through to the end for sure
Good! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 I didn’t hate it – just didn’t love the book in the first place. The ending of the movie was much more corny than in the book. Hubby was surprised when I said the movie’s ending actually has a far more uplifting feel than the book’s!
The ending was super corny and I’m pretty sure her baby was Asian?
Lol! Yeah…. I was thinking that baby didn’t really look anything like her! And the ending indeed came across as corny in the film. Damn.
I saw the first two but I’ve been putting off seeing these final two because honestly, there were things that drove me crazy in the last book. The worst was Finnick. I had gotten quite attached to him. It wasn’t so much his fate, I get that. It was how quickly it happened. If you blinked you would have missed it. Grr. The way Gale turned out at the end also made me cranky because it wasn’t at all in keeping with how his character was portrayed. 😦
Glad to see I’m not the only one unhappy with the final book! The movie is exactly like the book – characters such as Finnick are swept aside so quickly. I really wish they’d just made one film of the final book. Having two was so unnecessary!
Darn it! I was really hoping they fixed that Finnick part. Grr.😡
Afraid not……. 😦
I wasn’t crazy for the final book either, and I’m not crazy about the Mockingjay films. I expected not to like part 1, because that was the worst part of the book, but I did expect to like Part 2 and it still felt really flawed.
Yeah – I was also hoping I’d like Part 2 much more than Part 1 but it really was no better. 😦 Well, I guess I wasn’t expecting much anyway since I didn’t like the final book. At least it was a good adaptation, I guess! 🙂
I didn’t like the final book that much either except maybe the very ending. It was kind of nicely normal. But I just re-read my own review for Mockinjay Part 1. and we’ve been on the same lines. So, let’s see what I think. I just bought a ticket for later tonight. Expect my review tomorrow. 🙂 And btw. my friend, who hasn’t read the book quite a lot like this installment; she just warned me (a big cry-baby) that I need to take tissues with me. 😀
Hehe. Well… You probably won’t need tissues since you know how it ends. 😉 Have you seen Part 2 now? I hope you liked it okay. It WAS a good adaptation, at least… 🙂
I’ve read the first two books and I loved them, I also love both of the first two films. I actually started to read the third book but I gave up after a few chapters as I found it a little boring. However, I really enjoyed Mockingjay Part 1 and it got me so pumped for this finale. I actually thought that the best thing about this film was Peeta, the new dynamic his character had I thought was great. You are right about Prim though, I’ve always found her to be somewhat of an afterthought. Anyway I rated the film 7.5/10 so similar to you, I blame the source material for most of the issues as it clearly just can’t stand up to the strength of its predecessors. Great review, really enjoyed reading it.
Thank you! 🙂 Yeah, I suppose Peeta was at least more interesting than in the first movies where he was quite boring. I think they just really didn’t cast the right actor for him as I did like him more in the books. It’s a shame Prim feels like such an afterthought in the films because she’s very much not that way in the books (especially the final book). I mean, the entire series is based on the fact that Katniss wants nothing more than to protect her sister but the movies chose to focus on the love triangle thing more instead. Anyway, I do think the final films are good adaptations, at least – they really did stay faithful. 🙂
I really enjoyed this, and the series overall in truth. Tough to compare film to book for me (I read up to the end of Mockingjay — Part 1 and then stopped, will catch up now I’ve seen the film) but I definitely preferred the Part 1 to the first half of the final book. Don’t wanna spoil anything for anyone who might be reading this but the fate of one key character (not death) who’s linked to a tragic event did seem a tad unfair to me!
I’m glad you enjoyed the series. 🙂 I really WANT to, as I do love the first two books & movies a lot. I think the final book (and movies) just really lost its way. If you mean (SPOILERS) Gale, I suppose his fate does seem a little unfair. It seemed very glossed over in the movie – I think the book did a better job of explaining his involvement (somewhat) with that event and how his attitude had changed from the first books in that he was willing to help win the war at all costs. But I don’t think his character was treated fairly by Katniss in any of the books anyway – she seemed quite selfish. He’s better off without her! 😉
Yep, that’s the one. I just didn’t quite see the direct connection between him and the tragic event (though, as you mention, I do get that he had become less forgiving over the course of the four films). Poor Gale!
He’s cute. He’ll find someone else. 😉 But, yeah – that was his war plan in the book. And they ended up using his idea at the end.
Nice review. It has been interesting watching the various takes on the movie, many of which are a little tepid. I still plan on checking it out since I have seen them all so far. Anxious to see how it plays out (since I haven’t read the books).
Thanks! 🙂 Yeah – I’m trying to catch up on the blogs now so I’ll see what others thought of it but I knew it wasn’t going to be anyone’s favorite of all the films. It’s worth a watch since you’ve seen the rest, though. Would love to know what you think of it as someone who hasn’t read the books. 🙂
It was a solid finale. Possibly my favorite out of the four. Nice review.
Thanks! 🙂 Wow – really?? You’re the first person I’ve heard say that they liked it so much. I’m glad you did! I wish I liked it as much as the first two films but I was never going to as I didn’t like the final book, I suppose.
not really looking forward to this since I liked the books so much better, but I will see it for the sake of it 🙂
Yeah, the books are definitely better although the movies have actually been really good adaptations. I thought the Catching Fire movie was especially good. You might as well watch this but it follows the book pretty much exactly so there will be no surprises.
Figured that 😉
I’ve read the books. With that said, Mockingjay is the weakest novel so it’s fitting that this is the weakest movie. 5/10
Agreed! Wow – low rating. 🙂 It really was hard to know how to rate this since, as an adaptation, it did its job & was faithful to the book, so… I figured I couldn’t really complain. But the book isn’t great – I’d give that a pretty low rating if I’d reviewed the books. Oh well – the first two books & films are pretty great. 🙂
Thanks for not including spoilers. I didn’t like the first film but loved the others especially Catching Fire. Your husband is just wrong. You should ditch the zero and get with the hero! (Name the film!)
Mike! You’re back! Again! 🙂 Hmm… I’ve not been on the blogs but I get the impression that most people don’t really like the final two films. So maybe YOU’RE the zero! 😉 By the way – I thought you were slightly quoting Hercules but when I Googled it, that Vanilla Ice movie came up. Dude – are you quoting Vanilla Ice?! What a saddo. Lol!
Yeah it’s from Cool as Ice! Now you have to run away with me!
I’ve been off the blogs for awhile as real life stuff got in the way but I always make sure and read your site 🙂
Run away from you?? Good idea! 😉 Aww – that’s sweet. I’ve slowed down now! Too much real life stuff going on here at the moment too. But I’m sure I’ll get back to blogging again more soon. 🙂
I’ve read the books and watched all the movies. I agree with you that they remain faithful in their adaptions and that is wonderful. Jennifer Lawrence is a great Katniss – she manages to make you sympathize with Katniss, who came across as incredibly selfish in the books at times. I thought this movie was fine, it was a good end to the series. It just wasn’t as good as Catching Fire, which I consider the best in the series. Also, a lot of characters were simply given a few seconds on screen and that is so silly. Great review!
Thanks, Natasha! 🙂 Agreed that Lawrence is great – it’s been so long since I read the books but I kind of remember Katniss being downright unlikeable at times & I like that it’s not that way so much in the movies. So many main characters were really swept aside in this final movie! It sucks but I know they have to do that to save time. The final book seemed guilty of that as well, though. But Prim was such an afterthought in the final film, which was ridiculous as the entire series is based on Katniss doing everything she can to protect her sister. I also think Catching Fire was the best film while I like the first book the best.
I am hoping to catch this over the weekend. So far they have been great adaptations, though I was not a fan of the last film because I felt that splitting into two movies was totally unnecessary. So far of the lot, Catching Fire has been my favourite. While I did not seem to hate Mockingjay (the book) like a lot of people seemed to, it wasn’t the greatest in the world. There is something I really, really hope they do better in the movie than in the book because I was FURIOUS that it was simply glanced over and then done.
Hey! 🙂 I’m just catching up now so I’m assuming you’ve probably seen this by now? I like the first book the most but definitely thought that Catching Fire was by far the best film. Lol – I’m not 100% sure which event you’re referring to but have a feeling that the film didn’t do it any better than the book since the film remained very faithful. 😉 (Finnick?). I think that I most hated how little time was given to Prim in this very final film, as what happens is such an important part of what makes Katniss into the person she is at the very end of the book. Plus the entire series exists because of Katniss doing all she can to protect Prim.
I haven’t 😦 Didn’t get to this past weekend, but going to go for it this weekend! Yes, Finnick. What a crappy way to handle it in the book. Seems the films didn’t rectify anything there. Yeah, Prim was actually quite a large part of the final book. Will see this weekend, then we are back for a more in depth discussion haha.
Aw, damn! Hope I didn’t spoil anything. Just that, yeah, the film is very faithful. Although maybe it should’ve tried to rectify a few of the book’s mistakes. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the film once you’ve seen it! I read the book so long ago & my memory is so crap – you’ll know better what may have been changed slightly from the book. 🙂
Nope, you haven’t spoiled anything! It should have, because the book had quite a few shortcomings that needed rectifying.
Hahaha, we will see. Maybe, maybe not!
Is this one of those Japanese cartoons you’re always going on about?
YES. 😉 Actually, a lot of people say the first film is really just Battle Royale…
Great review. Thanks for no spoilers. I’m with your hubby on this one. Didn’t read books, so Part1 of Mockingjay was terrible. I was lost perhaps, missing some backstory or motives. I tore that movie up in my Tale of Two Dans review (sorry). I haven’t seen Pt.2 yet but had my hopes up. I’m expecting the finale to have some action… since the setup was so slow. Sounds like the final book was a letdown. I bet it has something to with those weird mutant creatures 😉 Say what?! Or a even more passive Katniss? I’ll have to wait and see.
Well, my hubby now hates Part 2 even more than when we first saw it, I think. Lol. He’s moaned about it a lot! So I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts. It does have more action than Part 1. Yes, there are weird mutant creatures – hubby hated those. 😉 Let me know what you think! If you hated Part 1, I can’t see you loving Part 2.
I will give Part 2 a chance. I might wait until it’s a rental, but I’ll definitely write a review for Tale of Two Dans. Slip/through is for movies you don’t want to slip through the cracks. Mockingjay 2 will probably slip right on through. That said, I am curious to see how this adventure finishes. There are some interesting thematic and philosophical elements, that are unfortunately under-developed. Perhaps, after I watch it I’ll ask you for the Coles Notes version of what really happened 😉
Lol. Sure! You can ask! I have to say the final film stays very faithful to the book anyway, though. 🙂 Yeah – I wouldn’t say this is a film you must see ASAP. It can wait to be rented. You’ll of course want to see how it all ends but don’t have really high expectations when you watch it. The themes in the first couple of films were actually better – I think the final films lose their way too much.
I guess I’m that one guy that didn’t like a single movie in the series. i refuse to watch this because I already know I’m not going to like it.
Thanks! Wow – not even the first two films? I did at least like those. 🙂 But, yeah – it sounds like you’d definitely not like this last one! Best to avoid. 😉
I don’t get why people love The Hunger Games. It bored my wife and I to death. The first two films was enough for me :].
Lol. Really? Kids being forced to kill each other?? 😉 Did you like Battle Royale? (Which I keep meaning to watch!)
If that’s what you want to call it. It was more like friendship island. It was a boring movie to me. It was like a wannabee Gladiator. It just wasn’t nearly as action packed or awesome of a movie in my opinion.
I don’t remember much about Battle Royal to be honest.
Lol! Friendship Island. I like that! 😉
It’s interesting that your husband had such a different response. I haven’t read nor have I seen the movies. I have really little patience for anything YA.
He hates the final film even more now a week later. He keeps bitching about it! Lol. Aww… I love YA but you have to separate the bad from the good. Twilight = Bad. The Hunger Games = Good. Well, the first two books. She’s actually a good writer whereas what’s-her-name Twilight writer is not. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is also a brilliant YA book & film. The Maze Runner books… BAD! Hmm. I read too much YA… Lol 😉
Glad this was spoiler free as I am not seeing it for another week or two. Can’t wait though!
I hope you like it! I know not everyone has but I’ve seen a few positive reviews. 🙂
You are absolutely right–it’s tough to talk about the final movies without talking about the final book, since they do (unfortunately) share the same weaknesses. Love the first two books and movies though! 🙂
My hubby thinks they should have changed the final movie from the book since it didn’t really work. Oh well! Hopefully people will still give the first couple of books a chance if they’ve not read them. 🙂
I haven’t had a chance to see this but my hopes aren’t high because I also didn’t enjoy the third book.
I think you’ll feel the same about this as I did, then. It’s a good adaptation of a disappointing book, at least!
I’ve never read the books and only see one film (the first one!) so I can’t comment lol. But great review all the same 🙂
Hehe. Thanks! 🙂 You should maybe at least watch the second film as well – it’s the best of the films. Then MAYBE skip the final two… 😉
I think it’s on Netflix now so I may well do! I thought the first one was okay, just didn’t do an awful lot for me. I really enjoy The Maze Runner films though! 🙂
I think you’ll like Catching Fire a bit more. 🙂 I really liked the first Maze Runner film so I went & bought the books. The books are pretty shit! But I still want to see the second film too at some point. Hopefully it’s better than the book, which was the case with the first one. 🙂
I’ve not seen the second film yet either but I have a feeling it won’t be nearly as good as the first one. But still hopefully quite enjoyable!!! 🙂
I found the final book depressing but I’ll watch the last two movies.
Yeah – the film is depressing too. 😉 It’s worth watching since you’ve read the books, though. I think those who’ve read the books like the movies more than those who haven’t. 🙂
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