WRITTEN BY: Peter Craig, Danny Strong
DIRECTED BY: Francis Lawrence
STARRING: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland
RATING: 3.5 stars
The film picks up where part one left off, with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) struggling to cope with the brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who still wants to kill her. Meanwhile, Gale (Liam Hemsworth) is coming to terms with the fact that she will never choose to be with him, especially if Peeta never recovers. But the love triangle is again pushed to the side as the war with the Capitol continues. Rebellion leader Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) wants to use Katniss for a propaganda campaign rather than letting her go to the frontline and kill President Snow (Donald Sutherland). But before long, Katniss is forging her own path to peace.
The final instalment in this franchise is exciting and action-packed with the Capitol becoming like one giant hunger games arena full of pop-up machine guns, waves of a thick sludge, and feral "mutts" eating people alive. However, I still believe it was a mistake to split Suzanne Collins' final book into two films. Lawrence, Hemsworth and Hutcherson are all wonderful in their respective roles, and their famous real life friendship transfers well into the film. Sutherland and Moore are also impressive and it is bittersweet to see Philip Seymour Hoffman in his final role. It is a shame that despite stretching the story into two films, Finnick (Sam Claflin) remains under-developed, especially because he is so great in the novels. Mockingjay - Part II wraps up the storyline sufficiently but I am sure the question about who Katniss should have chosen in the end will continue to be debated. If nothing else though, The Hunger Games has given the world one of the strongest and most admirable female characters of all time and that is worth celebrating.