**1/2 out of ****
In Mockingjay – Part 2, the cinematic version of Suzanne Collins’ young adult sci-fi trilogy comes to a close with movie number four. Katniss Everdeen, with the push of some questionable revolutionaries, leads a raid into the capitol of the dictatorship that has oppressed its working class through terror for generations. I enjoyed the film for Jennifer Lawrence’s stunning screen presence and epic production that brings Collins’ final story to life.
Sadly, I wasn’t spared the familiar drawn-out passages, which fail to build toward a satisfying emotional climax. In Part 1, I was critical of the producers’ choice to follow the trend of treating movies like segmented television drama. The second part of this final story suffers more because it stops and pauses often enough to draw attention to all the underdeveloped characteristics I’ve noticed about its futuristic dystopian setting and its people.
Francis Lawrence has a lot of confidence in his astounding filmmaking aesthetics and great actors at his disposal, but his direction lacks an emotional charge in certain scenes, which deserve much more weight. He also wasted some time in this one with a creature attack scene reminiscent of his disappointing film, I Am Legend. You would think it would be better for his career to avoid doing any scene involving CGI ogres again.
I still maintain my belief that Gary Ross’ first film in the series is the best - mostly due to superior editing. I’m also a little disappointed in the over-used score by composer James Newton Howard, who hasn’t come up with any memorably new material since his excellent score to the original movie.
I certainly found the last entry in this series to be worth my time, but it could have been so much better. Maybe I’m just nitpicking.