The Walking Games: A Dark Edge Wrap Up To the Series, True to the Book


            The four-toned call sounds through the distance, the three-fingered salute extending on the screen to unite a band of rebels in a dystopian era. No I’ve not gone crazy, I’m just talking about the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Yes my friends tonight we discuss the epic final chapter of the epic Jennifer Collins’ masterpiece that you’ve been waiting a year for. Tonight I review… Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2.


If you remember my last review, you’ll know I wasn’t the biggest fan of the “epic” part 1 with its heavy dialogue and overdramatic songs. Part 2 was supposed to bring the explosive action with Collins dark edge of dystopian war. The good news is that Mockingjay part 2 definitely had more excitement than its predecessor, it just took a while to get there. Like the book, this installment had our heroes walking through the desecrated landscape, and commenting how bad things are. All the walking and talking made me feel like I was back in a Peter Jackson production, alleviated only by some heavy laden special effects that stimulated our cast to yes you guess it run. Eventually we get to some actual excitement that brings that familiar sense of heart pounding horror and displays our warriors skills outside of complaining, despite some shaky camera work in the beginning. After that the action is tempered down to a level many “action” fans will like.


At this point you might be thinking, “I don’t come for the action. I come for the story, drama, and relationships this movie has.” Well the directors heard you and filled most of this 137 minute time span with these qualities, integrating them with all the walking. Much of the drama centers on Katniss’ indecisiveness as to whom she loves, which is only distracted by her lingering hatred of Snow fueling her desire of revenge. The inner turmoil of our characters is brought to full life in these moments, but I wasn’t emotionally stimulated in this movie at least not by the characters problems. Unfortunately they didn’t add flare for other important moments in this movie, leaving them rather dull. Oh well, can’t say they didn’t make this somewhat realistic.


Story wise this film sticks to the book closely, but the team has made some alterations to fill in the book’s vague moments. Some moments add a little more glory to the extras, though the hype of the characters was greatly over exaggerated such as the best shooters unable to hit anything. In addition some of the alterations (especially those at the end) were not really needed and only dragged out the film further. Before you dislike the review hear me out. I get these scenes were to illustrate Katniss’ time of healing as she accepts and copes with all that has transpired in the trilogy that the book fortunately glossed over. That didn’t mean I wanted to see more bouts of overdramatic screaming (which I hadn’t gotten enough of at this point) and verbal animal abuse. At least the epilogue was more fulfilling compared to what the book did.


In terms of production quality, the movie is certainly impressive. Our film crew was able to design a war torn world that was savage and unforgiving, just like war. While I didn’t feel for the characters in this movie, the cinematography certainly brings out the horrors of the Hunger Games. While the action wasn’t what I had fully hoped for, the special effects are still an incredible visualization of Collins work, something truly worthy of the Game Masters… especially those mutts. The added movie references, whether intentional or unintentional, were also a nice touch to maximize the darkness of this film.


As for the acting, Jennifer Lawrence carries the torch as always. She plays Katniss as strongly as ever while still adding more depth to an already deep character, despite playing the same role she always plays (a pissed off woman). Josh Hutcherson surprisingly impressed me this time, managing to make Peta not as annoying as he was in the book. His portrayal of mentally disturbed was well done, and surprisingly kept in balance to make you feel for the guy. The other cast members did a great job (mostly), and fit well with each other to make a team, even if they took a back seat to the two leading roles.


Mockingjay Part 2 ends the series on a good note. It stuck to the book fairly well, brought the world to life, and had impressive special effects. I can’t say it’s as action packed as everyone says, unless walking counts, but it still had an edge that got my heart pumping. It is definitely worth a visit to the theater, as if you would miss it, and I feel many fans will enjoy this fitting conclusion to the epic trilogy, or quadrilogy in this case.


My scores for MockingJay are:


Adventure: 8.0


Movie overall: 7.0-7.5


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