HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mighty Wind, A
Man at the Top
Guru the Mad Monk
Jezebel
Monos
Life at the Top
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
   
 
Newest Articles
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part Two Game OverBuy this film here.
Year: 2015
Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Mahershala Ali, Jena Malone, Natalie Dormer, Jeffrey Wright, Paula Malcomson
Genre: Drama, Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: All-out war rages across Panem as the free districts prepare their final assault against the Capital. A battered and shaken Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) goes looking for revenge on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) for the brainwashing of her friend Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) who has just tried to kill her. Joining an assault team led by on-off boyfriend Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Katniss must overcome fiendish death-traps, subterranean mutants and the political machinations of District 13 leader Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) if she has any hope of ending the war or saving her family, to say nothing of emerging from this nightmare with her sanity intact.

And so the most idea-driven young adult fantasy film franchise comes to a close with its grimmest, most incendiary chapter. Picking up right where The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part One (2014) left off, Part Two's searing images of carpet bombings, street battles, terror attacks and mass civilian casualties, including children, make for pertinent IF undeniably uncomfortable viewing in light of recent events. Harrowing yet thought-provoking the film branches further away from the teen adventure narrative of earlier episodes into the realm of the war movie. Here, in a fiendishly logical twist on the already cruel premise of the original Hunger Games, the Capital turns war into a grand television spectacle, amping up each twist and turn for the masses. Amidst the grandiose set-pieces sits a biting satire of media manipulation for political purposes. Perhaps the true overarching theme of the Hunger Games series, as conceived by source author Suzanne Collins, is to look beyond the surface, think for yourself and not simply follow the masses. Katniss Everdeen is a stand-in for the young people who today negotiate a similar minefield of mixed messages and political agendas on television and social media. For all its harrowing drama this is a story of survival and renewal albeit one that, to Collins' credit, does not gloss over the psychological toll taken on its heroine.

If Part Two remains an uneven narrative it is the inevitable result of the current trend for cleaving the concluding installments of serials into separate halves. Like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), the giddy rush to pay off questions posed by the more contemplative first half results in a somewhat unbalanced film. As always the glue that holds everything together is a powerhouse performance from Jennifer Lawrence. All the horrors of this dystopian future register on her beautifully expressive face. Part two continues to show Katniss taking charge of her own image, moving away from a mere survivor, political pawn or media construct to become the hero people may not necessarily know they want but clearly need. Her newfound determination is also reflected in the resolution to the central love triangle. Despite the carping of some fans and critics it is resolved satisfyingly and, in a cruel irony, at the expense of the one thing Katniss held dear throughout the entire saga.

Elsewhere, if the abundance of new characters introduced in part one continue to leave less room for scene-stealers like Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), at the very least the late Philip Seymour Hoffman yet again reveals what a gifted actor he was even in his few moments of screen time. While it is somewhat disappointing we never get to see preening pompadour TV host Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) get his much-deserved comeuppance, Donald Sutherland brings new dimensions to the monstrous President Snow. Francis Lawrence reworks familiar motifs from the series in increasingly inventive, not to say chilling ways. On a purely visceral level the sewer battle with the hideous H.R. Giger-esque mutants is especially powerful, maybe too unsettling for younger viewers. Yet even this tautly executed suspense set-piece pales by comparison with the impact of the many war atrocities. Not many fantasy film franchises could get away with such loaded imagery but unlike the fictional games staged by the Capital, from beginning to end the Hunger Games movies have been a class act.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1465 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: