Mockingjay 2 Both Fiery and 'Lukewarm'

JLaw 'has been the best possible Katniss,' says one critic
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2015 9:10 AM CST

Katniss navigates a booby-trapped Capitol in the hope of assassinating evil President Snow in Mockingjay Part 2, the final installment of the Hunger Games series, based on Suzanne Collins' novels. Is it a fitting farewell? Here's what critics are saying:

  • "The film is not just a good, exciting, emotionally involving story, but an allegory that fits inside our present cultural bubble. In an era of terror and waterboarding, this is a science fiction film about people under siege in their own War on Terror," writes Colin Covert at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "The plot is minimalist but … the final showdown delivers a hearseload of thrills" so that when the credits finally roll, it's "a regretful farewell."
  • "The focus is overwhelmingly on Katniss … and it's to Jennifer Lawrence's immense credit," writes Tom Long at the Detroit News. "She can run about in super-hero mode then suddenly drop down five notches or strip herself bare emotionally. She has been the best possible Katniss," he raves. But Lawrence isn't all there is to enjoy. The film is "explosive, mostly true to the text, complex, and chock full of action." It "should more than satisfy the franchise's many fans."

  • Sara Stewart is on an entirely different page. "It hurts to see the Girl on Fire go out on such a lukewarm note," she writes at the New York Post. Mockingjay Part 2 "manages to give us everything we've been waiting for and still underwhelm." Stewart is particularly perturbed that the final book was split into two films, as well as a major plot point that "is downplayed here to an extent that, I felt, betrayed or at least misread Collins' story." But at least "there's still the pleasure of watching Jennifer Lawrence."
  • "I feel more exhausted than fulfilled," writes James Berardinelli at Reel Views. Mockingjay Part 2 is "more polished" than Part 1, but "the pace is uneven and there's a sense that the series has hung around too long." It "feels like every other dystopian motion picture" and though "an anticlimactic ending … makes a strong political point about the moral ambiguity of war," it's "not cinematically satisfying." Though "all the individual story lines are wrapped up and there's a nice little epilogue."
(More Hunger Games stories.)

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