Theatrical review. Possible spoilers. Francis Lawrence returns to direct the final chapter of the post-apocalyptical thriller. Along with “Part 1” the film expands on what was originally Suzanne Collins final novel in her series. Let me get a few digs out of the way first. As I noted in the “Part 1,” there really was no reason to create 2 films other than it being a money grab for the studios. “Part 1” was a weak entry, buoyed only by Jennifer Lawrence’s strong performance as our heroine, Katniss Everdeen.
Lawrence is every bit as good here as she struggles with family devotion, a constant love triangle and her role as the voice of the revolution against the central Panem government. As far as the love triangle is concerned, I have a hard time understanding how she still has strong feelings for Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) who has tried to kill her. Yes I get the fact that he was brainwashed and that she believes he will eventually come out of it. But still, he’s still trying to sabotage the revolution!
What I did like was we get back on the action track, missing from “Part 1” for the most part. District 13, now the rebellion’s core under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) is unifying the challenge to Panem’s President Snow (Donald Sutherland) by way of a military attack. Aside from the frontal assault, Katniss and a small band of fighters will go in more quietly and be there to film the ultimate victory. Her partners include the third side of the romantic triangle, Gale (Liam Hemsworth), a handcuffed Peeta, Finnick (Sam Claflin), military protector Boggs (Mahershala Ali), documentarian Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and others. “Game of Thrones” fans will recognize Dormer and keep an eye out for a cameo from GOT icon, Gwendoline Christie as well.
While Katniss is just along for the ride early on, events change where she must take over and disclose her ulterior motivation, which is to kill Snow. There are some innovative scenes of battle as her squad penetrate the capitol’s defenses. One in particular, kept my grip tight on my arm rest. The conclusion seems somewhat controversial. In the interest of not revealing too much, I’ll just say that if you have read the book, you may get it. If not, you may be scratching your head. Bottom line is that while the film is far from perfect, it is a satisfactory conclusion to one of the better sagas of its kind.