2015's Mockingjay - Part 2 is the follow-up and finale of the Hunger Games trilogy in which the finale was split into two entries. It tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, masterfully played by Jennifer Lawrence, who was chosen to fight to the death against 23, other randomly chosen youngsters from 12 districts that are forced to participate in the "Hunger Games". This nationally broadcasted sporting event / reality show is the biggest event of the nation of Panem formally North America. In previous entries we see her rise to popularity, becoming an icon for the rebellion by winning the games in defiance with Peeta Mallark, Josh Hutcherson, a boy from her district that is a part of a complicated love triangle involving another boy from her district Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth).

The narrative to this final movie is hurt by the filmmaker's decision to split the final book into two separate parts in what one can only imagine was an attempt to maximize profits. I never read any of the written source material and went into the series with moderate to low expectations because of the inherent comparisons the initial previews had with other teen schlock such as Twilight. However, the movies won me over and I attest that the second film Catching Fire was the best entry into the series, which can be compared tonally to the Empire Strikes Back.

2014's Mockingjay - Part 1 is the definitively superior movie of the two-part finale. Part 2 opens with Katniss recovering from Peeta's vicious and brainwashed motivated attack on her at the end of Part 1. From here the rebels and the capitol are in full war mode, which we only hear about and never see. Katniss is eagerly ready to run off to join the battlefield to put an end to President Snow's (Donald Sutherland) reign of tyranny. District 13's President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) leader of the rebels and potential ruler of Panem wants to keep using Katniss as a political pawn to influence and shape the battlefield within her plans.

This is where the movie becomes nothing more than an observational tale in which Katniss only witnesses' events that she has no influence over and the outcome of the situations. We watch as her crew is meticulously taken out one by one in which I began to draw horror movie comparisons. Here the characters are just fodder for a death count that seems forced and unnecessary for the advancement of the plot. We're quickly introduced to characters that are killed off minutes later, but it never becomes the dramatic and disheartening experience for the rest of the characters as it should be. Katniss's plan to assassinate President Snow is pointless in the overall plot of the movie because she doesn't actually do anything. The actions of her and her companions do nothing to change the outcome of the war. In fact, they could have just stayed in District 13 and we would be left with the same conclusion. This makes watching the movie just frustrating and boring. I want the weight of her actions, the sacrifices of her friends, to have some meaning and to be necessary in the grand scheme of things.

The only real reason for her to be sneaking around the battlefield is for Katniss to witness the death of a character that changes her perspective on President Coin and President Snow. I hesitate to say more to avoid spoilers, but the twist ending is broadcasted to the audience far in advance and doesn't serve to satisfy much of the conclusion of events that the series has been leading to.

The movie is full of perplexing events in the writing and production that made me beyond frustrated in the theatre. One such example is Gale's only motivation and lines are about his worries as to the potential relationship that he and Katniss will or will not have which seems so out of place in a war movie. After sharing a kiss he proclaims that "it was like kissing a drunk girl" and that it doesn't count. This line singlehandedly took me completely out of the movie. Never once did the series world building portray an atmosphere in which these characters would know what it was like to be drunk, to be kissing drunken girls, or to have this party atmosphere lifestyle in which one would know what it was like to kiss a drunk girl. It is one of the single worst pieces of dialog that has sprung up in this series.

In preparation to write this review I re-watched the previous entries to see if I was somehow mistaken about my aforementioned statements towards their quality after generally not enjoying this entry. I'd still recommended them because they are good, exciting and fun movies. The performances of Lawrence and the rest of the cast make them worth watching again and again. But sadly this film stands on shaky ground and doesn't achieve the quality the others do. I could only recommend this movie to the hardcore fans of the series that are looking for the final conclusion to the series.