Burning Through Plots To Finish Things Up

Dark Phoenix Poster

 

X-men, a series with so much storytelling and incredible characters that the comic book itself stands alone as one of the greatest franchises to exist in the comic book world.  Yet, the movies have had a rough patch in terms of execution, hitting some highs and some lows in their design and sequences.  So tonight, the last of the franchises before Disney takes over, tries to send it off in the a blaze of glory, focusing on the last saga that is a beacon in the mutant world: The Phoenix.  Can Fox put the shining beacon of power in the right light, or will it be yet another grandiose display of loud sounds?  Robbie K here to bring his observations and help you out with your movie pleasure.  Let’s go!

 

Movie: Dark Phoenix (2019)

 

Director:

Simon Kinberg

Writers:

John Byrne (story “The Dark Phoenix Saga”), Chris Claremont (story “The Dark Phoenix Saga”)  |4 more credits »

Stars:

James McAvoyMichael FassbenderJennifer Lawrence

 

 

LIKES:

Acting

Sophie Turner

Special Effects

The Action/Pace At The End

The Messages

 

DISLIKES:

Quicksilver Not Used

Pace For Much Of The Movie

Rushed Story

Cheesy Story

Lackluster Dramatic Moments

Action Scenes Fairly Short

Under developed Villains

Not Quite The Epic Finish

 

SUMMARY:

Say what you want about the X-Men, but they have picked a heck of a cast to bring into he mutant world.  McAvoy continues to do his part justice, making sure to bring the full fiery emotion that the part requires.  Fassbender and Lawrence do their parts well, but seem to have become the back-burner group for this movie, lost to some simpler writing and a quick dynamic shift to the main character.  Jessica Chastain does her job well, but I can’t say they utilized her to the full potential (more on that later).  No, the real star is Sophie Turner, the mutant with so much power that she’s not quite sure how to handle it.  Turner does the job well in regards to getting the suffering, the uncertainty, and even the hard-edged femme fatale that they wanted.  Her character is decently developed in these aspects and I think Ms. Turner accomplished her tasks well.  To sort of go with the grand power of the mystical icon, X-men had to pull out the special effects and again they accomplished this goal quite well.  Theater shaking sound effects, plenty of colorful and vibrant special forces that scream dark edge comic books.  That utilization accomplishes bringing the fiery force of Phoenix into a spectacle that works well to bring these exotic characters to life.  My highlight comes at the end of the movie when the big action scene happens, fully unleashing the powers of the other X-men and starting to get into the excitement I’ve been waiting for this series to discover again.  Much like the books though, Dark phoenix is ready to deliver the typical messages found in this saga and the ones contained in this movie sort of accomplish this goal.

Yet, much like many movies, this installment still suffers from balance issues and finding its identity in the transcription from comic to screenplay.  For one thing, a fan favorite of Quicksilver is grossly underutilized, the famous scenes that had fans raving, almost being missed completely.  And much like the quickness of the speedster, the movie’s pace suffers as well.  Dark Phoenix is very jargon and argument heavy, with more talk than walk seen so to speak.  So much of the excitement is done in a few snaps of the finer, mostly tuned to dramatic arguments and repetitive plot points than anything else.  The story not only seems rushed, but often very cheesy in its presentation as the classic saga is boiled down to the primal elements that try to speed the “evolution” so quickly it left me filling slightly unfulfilled and unimpressed.  Attempts to interject emotion were lost to predictable foreshadowing and sequences where only a few showed any interest.  Perhaps the action scenes make up for it?  Not really, unlike some of the earlier counterparts, Dark Phoenix’s fights are short lived, more grandiose displays of talking and delivered forced dialogue with only a few impressive moves to tickle the proud political statements, while leaving action junkies like me wanting more.  Perhaps if we had better fleshed out character and villains there would be some antagonist ready to drive the plot and really gives us the gauntlet that the Dark Phoenix saga was aiming for instead of the lacking end game to this genre.

Overall, Dark Phoenix shines as the modern-day movie of girl power and hastily wrapping a floundering series up in a nice bow. It’s not awful thanks to the acting, end scenes and messages, however the story just does not feel like the final installment, but instead like the opening issues of a series that try to whet your appetite.  Had Fox not been bought perhaps the movie would have held a trilogy on its own or at least more time to the story and action.  Yet this epic finish is really one that is best left for him, minus the theater experience of the flashy effects.  My scores for this adaptation of cheesy, grandiose goodness is:

 

Action/Adventure/Sci-fi: 6.5

Movie Overall: 5.0

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Sexy, Sleek, and A Spy Thriller Indeed

Red Sparrow

 

Jennifer Lawrence, a chameleon in many forms as to what role she will play and how well she will act in it.  What is never questionable though, is that it will often involve some type of edge, with some anger thrown into the mix.  And this weekend, yet another film for her to exercise her emotions is back in the form of Red Sparrow, the latest spy thriller to sneak into the theaters.  The movie promises to be the same intense dynamics, perhaps with a little sexiness thrown in.  Does the movie have the same fire that it’s lead actress has, or is it another flop?  Robbie K happy to help you out with another movie decision with yet another review.  Let’s get started:

 

LIKES:

 

Costumes:  In a spy movie of such caliber, you are hoping that the costumes are going to be chic, sexy, and feel like the super spy role.  Red Sparrow’s costumes are worthy of the mantle of high fashion, being pleasant on the eyes and fitting so well with the roles given to Ms. Lawrence. They add a nice flare to the movie, being utilized to sell her cover and infiltrate the secrets held within all parties, and in such a subtle way as that.  It’s a small like, but one that warrants appreciation.

 

The Strong Woman Character:  If it’s a Jennifer Lawrence role, it’s going to involve a strong female role and Red Sparrow is again no exception to the movement of strong female characters.  Dominika has many layers, all built around a solid core value of family, bringing duty and loyalty to the heart of her character.  They build upon these values, weaving a complex character who with each peel exposes layers that continue to evolve with each dive into the dark depths of espionage.  And as more characters join the deadly game, Dominika gets to adapt in an attempt to juggle all the information being handed to her.  And not only do her actions speak volumes, but Dominika has a few lines to throw out that are empowering to many in the theater.  I enjoyed the strong, ever adapting character that hopefully can teach a few lessons amidst the destruction taking place.

 

True Spy Thriller:  With James Bond films, we’ve been spoiled with the spy and action series blending together.  Yet, the world of espionage is a lot less flashy given the emphasis of blending in and breaching the trusts of so many people. Red Sparrow flies into the territory of representing the espionage game, utilizing heavy writing, ingenuity, throwing out plenty of leads, and utilizing plenty of tactics to complicate the tale.  The mysteries that are presented are the lure to keep you invested in the 2 hour 19 minute run time, all screaming of a true spy thriller that has been missing for some time, including an ending that is worthy of being called a respectable twist.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Slow:  Sadly, the movie is very slow at parts, focusing more on the jargon, psychology, and training that is involved in this harsh environment.  While this is interesting, it is also very hard to keep attention when the plot doesn’t move to keep the thrills going and make learning the information fun.  Spy thrillers need to be thrilling, and I didn’t really get into the plot until the last thirty minutes of the film when the stakes increased dramatically.  Drama fans won’t have quite as big of an issue with this, because the love, sex, and relationships fill these slow moments, but fans like me need to have some coffee before coming in.

 

Complicated Jargon:  This goes with the slow speed, but Red Sparrow is not a conversation light movie.  Where many movies have simplistic dialogue that leads you in a linear fashion. Red Sparrow however is like one of those word webs, with so much spreading out it can be confusing to piece things together without paying major attention.  So many relationships to keep track of and so much information to maintain, you have to keep everything in check to figure out what the point of all this is.  And given how the tone of the characters fluctuates, it can sometimes be difficult to hear what they are saying as the cavalcade talk in whispers and hushed tones.

 

Graphic TortureSerial killers rejoice, you’ll see the dark dealings of punishment unfold in very disturbing moments, but for others with weaker constitutions you’ll need to turn away. There is plenty of Red in this movie, and not in the slasher movie cheesiness Hollywood has made famous.  This movie has been majorly grounded in terms of thrills, but with it comes some realism that is more gruesome to see.  I appreciate this darkness to some extent, but the there are some nightmare inducing images, and in some cases a little unnecessary to the story.

 

The VERDICT:

 

            Despite all the mixed reviews, I think that Red Sparrow is a fine film that shows off Lawrence’s talents to be edgy and a strong women character.  The film has plenty of mystery to solve as you try to uncover the true meaning behind this thriller, searching for any information possible.  And given all this convoluted information, this movie certainly is the closest thing to an espionage film we’ve gotten in a long while.  Yet, the movie is slow, and geared more toward romantic drama lovers who could care less about the story and more about the sabotage the characters throw at each other.  Nevertheless, this dark story is not for the faint of focus and should be geared towards those who like a darker story with lots of kinks to unravel.  My scores are:

 

Mystery/Thriller:  7.0

Movie Overall:  6.0

Oh Mother, Where Art Thou?

mother!

 

Horror movies continue to be a popular trend in Hollywood.  IT’s successful launch last weekend, surely inspires the trend to continue, so what the heck put out another one this weekend.   Jennifer Lawrence takes center stage in what looks to be a psychosocial thriller to usher in a new age. Will the artistic styles of Darren Aronofsky be a welcome change to the milieu, or does its odd premise promised in the trailers might dive too far down crazy town to enjoy?  Robbie K happy to fill in some gaps with another review.  Let’s get started.

 

LIKES:

 

Unique vision:  Call me crazy, as many people do, but originality is something difficult to come by these days.  Mother, certainly gets points for standing out, not only in the bizarre presentation and mind messing visuals, but also in the symbolism represented in the story.  Amidst the mystery, drama, and other oddities in the film, one will get their fill of morals in that artistic manor Hollywood loves. One certainly won’t forget this movie, or its…originality.

 

Acting: The chemistry between Javier Bardem and Lawrence is perhaps the biggest selling point of this movie.  Much of the mystery comes in the tension between the two protagonists, Bardem’s deceptive nature and double speak is on point to keep you wondering what is going on.  Lawrence’s curiosity and desperation kept me intrigued as to how far she could go, before breaking and challenging his words.  It’s a relationship dynamic brought out in spades, further leading you down the rabbit hole into the mind meddling to be had. In addition, Lawrence also knows how to sell psychotic with screams, tears, and just enough raspy voice to sell suffering.

 

Prosthetics/makeupGrasping for straws here, but the team did a nice job with the prosthetics at hand.  Injuries that arise look festering as if plagued by infection illustrated in text books. The degrading house seen in the trailers is only further detailed in the shots, black marks and degrading wood in all its glory. And Lawrence’s pregnant belly is flawlessly blended into her normal skin, creating the roll that she could pop at any point.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Slow: Forgive me, but horror movies often move quickly to get to the scares at hand, even though they sacrifice story.  While mother has a story…it moves dirt slow to the point of inducing sleep in the movieThe drama aspect takes more precedence than anything, and unfortunately it is dragged out relentlessly to the point of being annoying.  This snail’s pace doesn’t do much for the quality of the movie, despite building up suspense for something never to come.

 

Not Scary: Aren’t horror films  supposed to be scary, or at least try to get me to jump?  Mother failed on this aspect much of the time, resorting to a few loud noises and people sudden turning a corner as their fright factor.  The tactic grew old and soon became nothing more than a ploy to try to salvage scares.  For me, the creepiest factor was seeing humans devolve into selfish, unthinking cretins makes me fear for the future.  Outside of that though, not much got me on edge for this movie.

 

Editing:  I stated above the pace was slow, but that’s because there was too much unneeded details for most of the movie.  The drama was dragged out, the weird concepts were even longer, and there were a few scenes that I could have lived without and been just fine.  Editing needed to jump in and get rid of some of this fluff, because it didn’t work for me at all given the lack of scares. Yet, their hands were tied by the fact the writer was also the director.

 

The Story:  All the symbolism and artistic presentation doesn’t save the audience from an incoherent story. Mother has a lot of weird subplots in it, many of which held little relevance to the overall plotAdditionally, there are lots of gaps in the plot, unless you like theorizing and reflection on the plot, because that’s the only way to fill in the vague data points.  The writer got so centered on its uniqueness, it didn’t close the story the best I think they could do.  Questions are great for discussion, but I like my films with a little more explanation than what I got in this film.  And when you draw most of the conclusions…you can’t help but say, “Really?  That is what this is?” Which reminds me….

 

The Weirdness:  Mother started out artistically weird, but as the movie hit the halfway point it dove deep into the tortured artist route.  What didn’t make sense, quickly turned into a trippy, random display of negligence and rudeness, mocking the modern human while deterring from the mystery.  Soon rapid time progression and sequence changes led to even more head scratching moments, that continued to shock me further to the point of asking what I was watching. The obscene violence and darker phenomenon only grossed me out, and again seemed pointless in the grand scheme of things.

 

 

THE VERDICT:

 

Mother is artistic and unique, I’ll give it that, and certainly makes bold statements about a lot of cultural quarrels plaguing our world.  But outside of that, it’s not so much a horror movie as a though provoking, psychological thriller.  A slow pace, trippy visulas, and just overall weird atmosphere, does not make for the best horror movie.  So, if you had your hopes up for this one, do yourself a favor and skip this mind bender until it hits home theaters.  Go see IT again instead. 

 

Scores:

 

Drama/Mystery/Horror:  6.5

Movie Overall: 4.0

All Aboard For Interstellar Love and Visuals

passengers

 

Space! The final frontier…and the setting for so many movies in this day and age.  Welcome to another Robbie K movie review.  Tonight’s focus is on Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as they voyage the stars in a pretty cool (albeit odd) looking ship.  Based on the trailers this science fiction adventure looks to have romance, drama and mystery, but is this the case?  Can these two mega stars bring a love story to life?  As always read on to hear my take on Passengers!

 

LIKES:

  • Fantastic Acting
  • The love story component
  • Beautiful visuals
  • Beautiful score

 

No surprise here, the acting is one of the leading components in this movie.  Jennifer Lawrence’s edgy mood is very welcome in this setting, painting a character that is vulnerable yet strong when faced with the dilemmas. Her emotions are so well-balanced in this film, painting a realistic character that many will anchor too.  Yes, her cracking voice is getting a little stale, and she is playing similar characters, but it works so well.  As for Pratt, again the man impresses me with dynamic characters. Pratt substitutes his normally silly persona for a more serious nature, and it works well.  He sells his idolization of companionship, radiates misery from the isolation and betrayal, and still manages to come off heroic at parts.  And the chemistry between these two is a reaction gone well.  Pratt and Lawrence sell their passion for one another, almost as if they are actually in love with each other. Not easy considering Hollywood relationships these days.

Speaking of the love story, Passengers’ strongest story component has to be the relationship of the characters.  It’s a very dramatic tale packed with emotion that fluctuates between blissful happiness and heartbreaking revelations.  As stated, the actors’ chemistry helps sell the story, but the writers did a nice job designing this tale to be not only passionate, but believable.  Yes, my friends, Passengers isn’t a Nicholas Sparks fairy tale, but actually highlights the work involved with a relationship, nice work guys.  And for those who want passionate love making scenes, it’s got a few to spice up the film, but not so much to fall into the overdone (or pornographic realms).  Well done guys, well done!

Yet my favorite component has to be the beautiful visuals and music score that was designed for this film.  Hollywood certainly knows how to create eccentric looking ships on the outside, but seldom do they create a large world within.  The attention to detail is astonishing, each section meticulously designed to fit with the theme of the station. Even the engineering components have a logical explanation in regards to their purpose in the ship.  And these settings are further amplified by the orchestral score that accompanies it.  While many symphony tracks sound the same, Passengers adds a little something to help it stand out, especially during the spacewalk scenes where the music established both the beauty and spirit of adventure.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Slow at the beginning
  • No mystery
  • The science fiction dilemma is semi rushed
  • Fourth character almost unnecessary

 

We know some movies take time to build steam, but Passengers certainly struggles to get its ion drives going.  The opening sequences are devoid of any edge, serving to introduce the ship and the dilemma involving one of our characters.  However, this montage probably could have been cut down a bit to get to the exciting parts of the story (and cut down on the run time).  In addition, the boring opening could be due to the lack of the mystery.  Despite the teaser line put in the trailer, you’ll get 95% of the answers in the first twenty minutes of the film.  I had so looked forward to uncovering a conspiracy regarding their abrupt waking, but sadly the explanations are lackluster. The only mystery that remains is the technical explanations for what happens, which most viewers will not give a darn about.

In regards to the science fiction component, Passengers is both good and bad in this category.  The good is the ship, the technical jargon, and the looming threat of insanity in the void of space.  However, the bad far overshadows the good for me.  Passengers dilemma starts out pretty low key and remains low key for much of the film. Then at the drop of a hat things escalate to danger levels in mere minutes, a solution comes even faster, and the resolve is predictable and quite corny at parts.  Even the introduction of a fourth character played by Lawrence Fishburne can’t save the rushed plot development.  Fishburne’s role is touching at points, but the writers diluted his role to merely providing quick answers and a trinket to get the job done.  Such a shame that the mystery and dilemma could not have shined like the love story.

 

The VERDICT:

 

Passengers surprised me by how much I enjoyed watching the movie.  While a bit slow at the beginning, I enjoyed the love story and sense of adventure our characters shared as they hurtled through space.  In addition, the beautiful visuals and strong attention to detail further impressed me, designing a set worthy of special effects awards at the Oscars.  Outside the love story though, I was disappointed with the lack of mystery and rushed dilemma they placed in this movie.  For once, I think the movie needed to be longer, to help make a more suspenseful film and get a little more kick to the relationship.  This film is worth a scope for romantic audiences and those who like beautiful visuals.  However, in regards to story over all, save this one home viewing. 

 

My scores are:

Adventure/Drama/Romance:  8.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

Great Cast, Mediocre Action: It’s Okay Overall

X-men A

Memorial Day weekend is upon us and the sound of burgers grilling, people laughing, and new movies coming out fills the air. Hi, Robbie K here with another movie review on the last “masterpiece” to hit the silver screen. Today’s review is on the latest Marvel creation X-Men Apocalypse, a movie that has been culminating for some time. As always I’m here to share my opinions and hopefully guide you in your latest movie quest. Let’s get started.

 

THE STRENGTHS:

  • Comedy
  • Nice balance of most characters
  • Awesome Special Effects
  • One cameo in particular

Fans rejoice, as the writers have once again loaded this movie with well-placed comedic antics. Apocalypse has more than its share of comedic gold in the form of a well-timed swear, an awkward facial gesture, or my particular favorite…throwing jabs at the failures of this movie series (cough X-Men three cough). It was refreshing to see comedy that didn’t rely on people trying too hard or being a complete idiot and therefore was a major highlight for me. And the scene with quicksilver had to be comedic moment that had me in stitches.

But you didn’t just come for the comedy, you want to see your favorite superpowered mutant on the screen kicking butt right? Well surprisingly Apocalypse does a nice job at letting many mutants throw their hats in the ring. Fan favorites like Xavier, Mystique, Magneto, and Quicksilver are a major focus of this film, but the generation of Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler rock the screen with their unique talents and personalities. The actors portrayal of these characters is spot on, and the chemistry amongst all the mutants creates a family/ squad that you latch right on to.

As for their powers, Fox’s design team again succeeds in bring them to life with flashy lights, theater shaking sound, and in vivid colors that help you discern who is doing what. In truth the portrayal is old hat by now, but Apocalypse shines in combining powers that make for entertaining and somewhat impressive displays of teamwork (if only they had used it more.)

In truth though the real show stealer was a five minute cameo of a certain enraged hero we all know and love. This was where the real bread and butter was for me that brought all the aspects I love together and unleashed in sheer force. While I wish this cameo had been more integrated into the film (and longer), it sets precedence for yet another movie in the long run and I can accept the short cameo for what it is.

 

 

 

THE WEAKNESSES:

  • Mediocre Action
  • Overdramatic
  • Rushed at parts
  • Some characters gets stiffed

If there was one thing I was disappointed in with this movie it was the action. Most likely it was because I set my expectations too high, but the trailers fooled me into thinking this movie was going to be really exciting. With the exception of the opening scene, I wasn’t impressed with the direction they took in the battles. Instead of fast paced, high adrenaline displays of powers clashing between good and bad, I instead got long winded, short lived bouts that were more flashy (and sometimes cheesy). Again the powers are impressive, just most underutilized and not in the manner I had envisioned from the trailers. Even more disappointing is that the action was diluted by Apocalypse’s overdramatic rants, who although looked the part did jack squat in terms of fighting until near the very end.

Despite the slow, drawn out moments though, the movie itself felt a bit rushed at times. I remember most of the X-men tales making the revival of Apocalypse more difficult and often making our heroes try to stop his rising. Not the case in this film, in fact it’s so simplistic that one wonders what was even the point of him sleeping in the first place. That’s just one example, and there are lots of other moments that could have gone further had they not tried to build everything around the relationship between Magneto, X, and Mystique. Yep the same tale comes to life again and the age old family triangle takes a strong grasp in this film (and leads to some cheesy spectacles.) Guess Fox can’t come up with any other story to fill the time huh?

And it’s because of this focus that I feel some characters get stiffed in their moment to shine. Other than looking gorgeous Psylocke practically does nothing and don’t get me started on angel’s rather poor display in this movie. While the balance of all these characters was for the most part well-done, there was still a lot more potential to unlock in a lot of our characters, most likely addressed in the inevitable sequel to come. Maybe they’ll focus a little more and we can get some battles like what we saw in X-Men and X2.

 

THE VERDICT

Overall X-Men Apocalypse is another impressive display of technology, combined with decent writing and a cast to bring it to life. Unfortunately the overdramatic theatrics, mediocre fight scenes, and stiffing some characters for the same story we’ve heard a hundred times are getting old. However, the movie is still entertaining , still a blockbuster hit, and has all the qualities that a theater visit will amplify. Recommended audiences are fans of the movie series, fans of the actors, and those looking for another superhero movie. Regardless this critic recommends you catch this film on Redbox at least, especially to get a glimpse at what Fox will do next… which I pray will be to pick a timeline and stick with it.

 

My scores are:

Action/Adventure/Fantasy: 8.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

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

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            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