Sunday, November 29, 2015

Movie Review- The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2

"Josh Hutcherson, why do you keep showing up when everybody hates you?", asks Jennifer Lawrence in, Mocking Jay Part 2

Introduction

When Francis Lawrence has taken a break from time to time with directing countless music videos from the likes of Nine Inch Nails to Jay Z and many more, he has made a movie or two. Like many directors in Hollywood, most have a lengthy resume but don't have the public recognition like say Tim Burton or god forbid, Michael Bay. Lawrence is one of those that's unrecognized to the audience. I first became aware of him after I watched the film I Am Legend and noticed that there were similarities in styles to the 2005 film, Constantine. I put both of my DVD cases together, looked down the credits for each film's director, then lo and behold, I realized that Francis had made them both (Yay! Me used brain). Regardless of how anyone feels about those films, I really enjoyed and saw more done right than wrong in them. Before Catching Fire and the latter Hunger Games movies, he had only directed three major motion pictures. Water for Elephants was his third, but I've never really been interested in seeing it (Robert Pattinson from the Twilight series is just not that appealing as a leading man). Still, based on his previous works and how well he did with Catching Fire and Mocking Jay Part 1, I really thought that this guy could deliver on the final film.

The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2

If I had only one question to ask Mr. Lawrence, it would be something like, "After you did such a good job of taking over the reins from Gary Ross (Seabisquit) and improving on his work after the first film, how in the hell did you muck up Mocking Jay Part 2 so badly, Frank!?". That was the question that would periodically pop into my head while I was watching this film. After investing my time, money, and interest, into this series, I am left with a feeling of resentment among my overall disappointment. Nearly every aspect of this movie is dull and incomplete. Sure it ends up the same way as the book nevertheless, nothing feels right. The pacing is boring, the emotion is lacking, and everyone involved acts like they just want it to be over. This was filmed simultaneously with Part 1 (which was good) but, comes off as a collection of cutting room floor segments. That energy from Part 1 is all but gone. Splitting a film or final book has worked successfully a couple of times (Kill Bill, The Deathly Hallows), yet we can't forget about the failures as well (Breaking Dawn, The Hobbit). The failures made money to be sure, but who's chomping at the bit to see them again? Hollywood's greed is in plain sight this time around. The only and I mean only, positive at all, is when the film occasionally decides to get out of its pajamas and deliver some action. Those scenes are few and far between yet deliver for the most part. In between, is a bunch of whining and sulking. It's okay though, because this film isn't afraid to kill anybody off.
Actually, no it's not okay. Every major character death has the emotional impact of a Ben Stein morning roll call (Ferris Bueller's Day Off). Even Jennifer Lawrence can't seem to find any enthusiasm. Hell, she can't even talk for the first ten minutes because she got choked out by that giant pussy named Peeta in the previous film. Josh Hutcherson, what a horrific casting choice that they picked for Katniss' inevitable love interest. What makes it even worse, is that they spend way too much time focusing on him and his unstable condition, instead of delving into more important things. He's one of those once-a-child-actors that should have fallen into obscurity like Dustin Diamond (Saved By The Bell) and Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone), and not still be around to fill movies with his mediocrity. Not one single actor gets to shine. Whether they're well known or minor performers, everybody involved is wasted. What sucks the most, is that characters that we've grown to love in the last three years, don't get their proper send-off. Woody Harrelson (Haymitch), Elizabeth Banks (Effie), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Sam Caflin (Finnick), Jena Malone (Johanna), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman), and Liam Hemsworth (Gale), are mostly relegated to the background and if they do get to say something, it's short and uninspired. It's almost as if they were wandering around in confusion just to mimic my exact feelings while I was watching it all go down (hill). Julianne Moore's (Alma Coin) character was also done a total injustice. The build up to her true personality and agendas is used as a throwaway afterthought. But why give her any more consideration when nothing else was properly attended to either?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2

The Good- The black oil evasion, the sewer Mutt attack, and the absolutely brutal mini parachute attack.
The Bad- As much of an anticlimactic letdown as The Matrix Revolutions.
The Ugly- Please don't tell me that this is the last film of Philip Seymour Hoffman that I will ever see on the big screen! Please!!!

Final Thoughts on The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2

In two words, I can characterize all of Mocking Jay Part 2 from its final moments as our two lovejays are snuggled up in bed together with looks of trauma wrapped in apathy on their faces; Dead lay. I never bought them as a couple and I never bought this film. Maybe with my wallet, but never my heart. If you are a fan of this series, spare yourself from this lackluster bummer of a finale. Your last sight of these films should be from the end of Part 1, where Peeta is strapped to a gurney and screaming like the insignificant little bitch that he is. If I could never see how it all turns out, I would still be happy with that ending. F*** you, Peeta! And F*** you too, Frank! You blew it big time.
Rating- 3 out of 10


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015)
PG-13  |  137 min  |  Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  20 November 2015 (USA)
Director:Francis Lawrence
Writers:Peter Craig (screenplay), Danny Strong (screenplay),
Stars:Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth                      

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