Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Review: The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2

World of Blackout Film Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Poster

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (3D)
Cert: 12A / 137 mins / Dir. Francis Lawrence / Trailer
WoB Rating: 4/7

Okay, the problem (my problem, not this film's) is that the events in and between the Hunger Games movies happen in relatively rapid succession from each other (moreso in this Part II), and tell a solid, continuous story. Even though the films have been released one a year, I watch a lot of movies between each screening. I don't generally play catch-up before sequels, and was unable to make last week's double-bill of Mockingjay Part 2 and its predecessor. And the part of my brain that I use for storing cumulative back-references etc is already pretty much full of the Galaxy Far, Far Away's events.

What this meant is that other than the "Here's the map, we're going there to kill him" segments, the moment the characters started referring to the minutiae of the ongoing plot, I sat there thinking 'Right, what the hell are they talking about again?'. I know the general gist, but my brain could barely remember the names of the characters I was watching, never mind ones they were alluding to off-screen. I guess this is what civilian audiences feel like watching Star Wars.

And as much as this fourth installment of The Hunger Games has a lot of plot-wrapping to do, the film takes its own sweet time getting there. There are some great action sequences on display*1, but far too much downtime in between them, as if the screnplay is frightened to build up too much momentum and peak too early. This pacing is fine for the actual story being told, but not so much for the film.

As with Hunger Games series in general, there are many aspects I enjoyed and more than a few I had problems with. Although my overriding feeling was 'wow, this really wasn't made for me…'

[ …and for all that fannying about getting across town in secret for half the film; couldn't they have just stolen some of those Stormtrooper-lite outfits?
Oh, and when they come back out of that building once the oil-lake's drained away, how come they're not slipping all over the place? ]

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
Oh, probably. As a Maze Runner kid, I'm probably the wrong person to ask…

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
It looks great on a big screen, and you'll already know if you want to make the cinematic committment.

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
I don't even think it's the best one of the series, in all fairness.

That said, it's at this late point that I realise how completely lukewarm I've been to:
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay Part 1

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Oh, probably.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Not at all.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Didn't hear one.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Why, this movie stars Captain Phasma herself, Gwendoline Christie.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Oh, and as much fun as the sewer-battle is, it feels woefully out of place in a dystopian socio-political adventure movie. It also reminded me that I really must watch Aliens again…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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