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November 23, 2015

Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Review


Teen Board member Brynn S. got one of the best phone calls of her life, recently --- her friend Danielle invited her to join her at the L.A. premiere and afterparty for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. On Friday, we posted her blog about the entire experience of the premiere, and today, we're posting Part 2 (see the parallels with the movie, here?), which is a review of the film itself. Read below, and see whether or not they reflect your own thoughts on the movie!

When I read THE HUNGER GAMES back in 2010, I had no clue that it would be the start of my YA book obsession and that it would have a huge impact in my life. Five years later, the movies are coming to a close and I can say with absolute certainty that my life would be very, very different if I hadn’t picked up the series. Just thinking about how The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 would be the last movie in the franchise made me want to cry and hide in my room forever. Of course, I didn’t go down that path and went to see the movie, instead. 

The movie was absolutely fantastic and gets an enormous thumbs up from me. I loved everything about it. The entire time, I was on the edge of my seat with wide eyes, eager to see what was coming next. One of my favorite things about a book-to-movie adaptation is when it is accurate to the book yet still finds ways to surprise me. When I’m not bored and don’t know what’s coming next, but recognize quotes and scenes from the book, it is a good movie. I recognized entire scenes with dialogue taken directly from MOCKINGJAY. All of The Hunger Games movies managed to do this, and, like the others,The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 made me laugh, smile, gasp and cry. 

Of course, though it was accurate, there were still some scenes from the book that were cut. A whole chunk of the novel is Katniss and Johanna training to become soldiers and go on the front line, growing stronger and closer to each other on the way. The movie didn’t show any of this, reducing the strength of Johanna and Katniss’ relationship and causing Johanna (along with other characters like Annie) to seem extremely minor. As sad I was to see all of this disappear, I understood why they did it. The movie was already two hours long and would have been even longer if they added all of those scenes to it. Still, even a small training montage would have been appreciated. 

The acting in this movie was absolutely amazing. With every movie released, I continue to be blown away at how talented the cast is. Every single actor in the film had an excellent performance, and there was nothing really bad to say about any actor. Josh Hutcherson especially was impressive playing a hijacked Peeta, who only has a small sense of what memories are real and what are fake. All of the suffering and confusion was written on his face and easy to see and all of his scenes were painful to watch. Every time his face popped up on the screen, I just wanted to cry and ask Suzanne Collins why she ever thought it was okay to put Peeta through so much pain. Jennifer Lawrence is a powerhouse of talent. She has an amazing understanding of Katniss, knowing her inside and out. One scene that especially stuck out was when she yells at the cat, Buttercup, at the end of the movie --- all of her pain and suffering comes out.

One of my favorite things about this film was how we got to see more of the Capitol. It was nice to see the houses and streets and everything that we haven’t gotten in the other books. With all of the sets and effects going on during the movie, I could tell that the crew put in as much hard work as the cast and it really paid off. The effects displayed when the cast walked through the Capitol streets were the most impressive --- we got to see the black waves and lizard mutts described in the book. The lizard mutts were creepy and I loved it. That whole sequence was well done, especially the fighting. All of the action sequences were perfect and well-choreographed.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part Two was an action-packed movie and was my favorite movie out of the entire franchise. It left me emotionally drained and as happy with it as the other films. It was the epic ending that the series deserved, and one that will make all readers and movie goers pleased with the results.  

Brynn S. is a Teen Board member.