by Alan Yudman

It is tough to criticize a mega million dollar franchise that is beloved by just about everyone. Especially when it stars the wonderful Jennifer Lawrence, and features such great actors like Julianne Moore and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. But like Katniss Everdeen, I’m battle tested and scarred so I’m diving in with my exploding arrows. This will not be Propo for THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2. We pick up right where Mockingjay Part 1 left off. Katniss is getting her neck brace off, put there after Peeta tried choking her out. Peeta is still tied to a bed in District 13 because well, he’s been brainwashed by The Capital and President Snow. The movie follows Katniss as she makes every attempt to fulfill her apparent destiny— to assassinate Snow (Donald Sutherland). It’s a long journey filled with battles, propaganda videos, love, broken hearts and deceit. I don’t want to give too much away. The action scenes and set pieces are the highlights of the film. The rest of it plays more like melodrama. Who will Katniss choose? Gale? Peeta? No one? At this point I was really beyond caring. Just pick someone! It’s been a 4 movie slog through Katniss’ emotional wreckage and halfway through MOCKINGJAY PART 2 I wanted to yell at the screen, “kiss Peeta or kill him, I don’t fucking care but do something!!” That is one problem here, Katniss talks a good game but seems to stop short (or is stopped short) of resolution, at least until the end. The other thing that drove me mad was the on the nose dialogue. We’ve been with you for three movies, give us a little credit for getting the subtext, or even the text! You don’t have to tell us that the capital wants you dead, we got it. We’ve gotten it for 3 plus movies. Enough! Another problem with the finale of any of these franchises is how to end them. LORD OF THE RINGS took forever to tie up the end of the last film, MOCKINGJAY PART 2 takes a similarly interminable amount of time to resolve storylines. It feels like it has about 4 endings. Fade to black. Credits? Nope. Another scene trying to resolve things. Sigh. For fear of going on and on like the movie does, I’ll wrap it up here. MOCKINGJAY PART 2 ties up all the threads, but not in a satisfying or artful way. I was happy when the credits finally rolled.

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