Film Review: Mocking Jay Part 2

K first off, if you haven’t seen the film already, or weren’t planning on seeing the movie, watch the trailer now and you’ll want to.

So as many others, I became obsessed with The Hunger Games trilogy through the books. They are awesome and I couldn’t put them down once I started them- and I’m not a book person. I think I may have started reading the books because the movie was announced as well as the cast, and I’m a Josh Hutcherson fan – dude knows how to act – also maybe I started reading them to avoid studying for a final exam…

Anyway, point being I loved the books and loved the previous movies, so I knew Mocking Jay part 2 would be no different. But I did know it might be a little harder to watch, but to explain that I need to backtrack a bit to part 1.

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When Mocking Jay part 1 came out I knew it would be hard to watch because the book was hard to read… not in the intellectual sense but hard for the stomach. If you’ve read any of my other reviews or posts in general, you’ll have read how much I love a good romcom. Movies are my life and romantic films are my heaven. While I have an appreciation for all film and can watch a movie and know if it’s bad or good, I have a soft spot for romantic films (and often “the cheesy”), and I’ve found that most oscar winning movies are of the more realistic form. Films about race and slavery and war and death tend to always be front runners, which is fine and the films absolutely deserve to be nominated and win, but I’ve always found films like that very hard to watch. I get a sickness in my stomach when watching and have to remind myself to breathe. They’re too real. I like fantastical, imaginative, romantic films.

That being said, I was surprised to find myself so obsessed with The Hunger Games novels because normally a futuristic, dark world that ultimately leads to war is not my type of thing. But the story was so good and just sucked me in… and I mean aside from the storyline itself, there’s the obvious hook… Peeta Melark. AmIright ladies?!

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Anyway, getting to my review. Let me start by saying that waiting an entire year for Mocking Jay part 2 was absolute torture. Harry Potter only made us wait 6 months for Deathly Hallows part 2! But maybe they did that knowing how intense it would be, and knowing that I needed more time before I could say goodbye to The Hunger Games story… it was probably the latter.

**If you don’t have time or don’t feel like reading the entire review here is my very basic, to the point review:

The “Mocking Jay Part 2” movie was SO GOOD! Like, “WHOA! HOLY CRAP DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?! MY MIND IS BLOWN!” good! (and yes, writing it in all caps is necessary to get my feelings across). It’s such an emotional journey, I was shaking because of how intense it was! Everybody’s performances are amazinggggggg and it just hits you right in the feels. It hit me hard… like an arrow to the heart.

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(see what I did there?!)

 

Okay now I will set the stage for my actual review. Normally I would get right into the review but I feel that I need to express my anticipation for this film so you can properly appreciate my experience of this epic story.

So whenever I am obsessed with a movie or movie series, I’m going to make sure that I have the absolute best movie watching experience when going to see the films. I get to the theatre at least an hour and a half before showtime to get in line – I MUST have a middle row seat in the top two rows of the theatre (preferably the top row) and I go all out with snacks. I’m talking popcorn, pop, chocolate – all of it.

So once I secured a top row spot and got my necessary food, I just had to wait for the movie to start. All that was left was the previews for other films and then the movie would start! But let me tell you, time must have frozen or something because the movie couldn’t start soon enough. I swear there was like 10 trailers for upcoming movies and then the lights dimmed and I swear it took like 10 minutes to show the logos for all of the companies that made the movie happen. I was like “commonnnnn just start the movie!!!”

So it literally picks up right from the end of the first part, which I loved. It just gets you right back into it. And they waste no time getting into the action either… for those who read the books and saw the first part of Mocking Jay, you know how much content had to be in part 2. I was worried they would cut a lot due to time but I was not disappointed at all.  So getting right to it:

Cinematography/Editing: Really amazing! In scenes with more war-zone sequences the camera is more shaky like someone is holding it and running, so you become part of the unit, which adds to the intensity of the scenes. I found that there was a lot of effort put into each scene’s angles and filming style. The hectic back and forth editing and spinning of the camera in other scenes just suck you into the scenes themselves and create such anxious and exhilarating atmosphere.

Acting: A-Mazing.

Jennifer Lawrence = ✔️ I mean she already has an oscar so no surprise that she’s nothing less than amazing. Now, how to become friends with her…

Josh Hutcherson = ✔️ Like I said before, I’m a fan of his acting. Bridge to Terabithia, Little Manhattan, The Kids Are All Right… he’s so good! But Peeta Melark is by far my favourite role from him, and not just because I already had a crush on Peeta while reading the books! His commitment to the mutt-version of Peeta is so real and honest… i just cant even…

Let’s be real, I don’t need to comment on anyone else! But quickly, Liam Hemsworth ✔️; Elizabeth Banks ✔️; Woody Harrelson – common it’s Woody Harrelson, he’s awesome in everything! ✔️✔️✔️

Soundtrack: So good! Definitely kept with the theme of the other films and I found it also to have a little darker tone, which is necessary for scary scenes like the underground scenes.

Writing: I found that the film kept to the book really well, and it tied the story together really nicely. I left the movie feeling complete with the story.

That being said, (SPOILER ALERT AHEAD… SKIP TO THE BOLDED SECTION BELOW IF YOU DONT WANT TO READ) because I read the book, certain things stuck in my mind more than others and the one thing I wish they had included in the film was the flashbacks Katniss has of Finnick’s favourite moments right before he dies. I found that part in the book really touching and while heartbreaking, I found it almost softened the blow of his death by showing the beautiful things he experienced and it made me happy to know that while he didn’t make it to the new and better world, he still got to experience the good the world can offer (friendship, love and a family).

Set Design: Perfect! Totally captured the world I had imagined while reading. It really helped make the story become realistic and the sets pulled me into every scene through the detail.

Directing: Francis Lawrence directed Catching Fire as well as both parts of Mocking Jay, and he did them perfectly. Catching Fire was my favourite book and the movie was just as amazing, but like I stated earlier, I was nervous to watch mocking jay because of how real and harsh the book was. It got pretty graphic at certain points in the book because it is essentially a giant war with bombs, guns, blood, barbed wire etc. But Lawrence interpreted the book and screenplay perfectly! I absolutely loved the way everything was put together.

Overall thoughts:

I think what made this series so popular is the sad fact that the events of these books/movies could be a possibility, and that even through all of that horror and sadness there could still be compassion found in the human race and moments that make our hearts grow three sizes like the grinch. I know that’s what got me blubbering like an idiot – the human element is so strong in these films, it just breaks your heart to see how hard these people are fighting to get to a world that we often complain about today. It makes you appreciate the little things in life and realize what’s important in this world.

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that’s right you guys… loveeeeeee. gahhhh see, I told you I’m a sucker for the cheesy feels.

I would also just like to note that when the movie was over people applauded. I haven’t experienced that in such a long time, it was so nice! Also, before the movie started people were doing the hunger games 4-note whistle and everyone got into it! This is why I love the movies you guys!

K go see it and have your mind blown and your heart ripped out and crushed and then put back together and watch it grow 3 sizes. I’m going to go re-watch Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mocking Jay 1 and then go see Mocking Jay 2 again! Happy Day all! 🙂

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