A &E

A Fitting End for the Girl on Fire

Mocking Jay

The series that had started with a “girl on fire” has come to a fitting end. Released one year after the previous installment, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II,” directed by Francis Lawrence, is the final film of the “Hunger Games” series that was adapted from the books written by Suzanne Collins. This film, like the previous ones, follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) through her personal mission to end the tyrannical control of President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

The film picks up where Part I left off with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) still undergoing treatment for the mental and emotional torture he endured during his imprisonment in the Capital. Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), the leader of the rebellious District 13, decides that the rebels need to storm the Capital to successfully overthrow Snow and free Panem. That is easier said than done as Snow and his loyalist Game Makers set up numerous traps and obstacles within the Capital, effectively creating the “Seventy-Sixth Hunger Games,” as Finnick Odair (Sam Caflin) sarcastically remarks.

“Mockingjay – Part II,” like the other “Hunger Games” movies, follows the events and descriptions from the books well. This is quite a feat considering that some things would naturally get cut, changed, or added to make a print to screen adaptation of a first-person perspective book make sense. Movie-goers who have read the books should not be too disappointed with how the events play out. For those who have not read the book, the ending might not be what they were hoping for.

The acting was well done, though the voices were sometimes too quiet or were mumbled, making it hard to understand what was being said at some points. In contrast, some of the sound effects were sometimes too loud, almost needlessly so. During these moments of quiet dialogue or erroneously loud explosions and winds, the plot of the scene got lost. However, while these moments might or might not have been purposeful, overall they added to the believability of the movie.

The background music was excellent, adding the right sense of emotion to the movie without attracting too much attention or detracting from what is occurring onscreen.

The set and special effects were phenomenal as well. In most cases in the film, the CGI was difficult to differentiate from the sets and props. The holographic televisions are a good example of the props and CGI meshing well together. The designs of these props had definite functionality in the film’s setting.

As a whole, “Mockingjay – Part II” is a fantastic movie and nicely rounds out the “Hunger Games” series. The background music and the acting effectively invests audience in the characters or plot. There is also an overwhelming sense of spontaneity as the events seem to be unpredictable, even though the events of the movie follow the events of the book with minimal deviations. This movie is well worth the price of admission for anyone who has seen the previous movies or have read the books and has a good mix of drama and action to suit the tastes of many viewers.

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