Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 70% (Critics) / 81% (Audience)
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Written By: Danny Strong, Suzanne Collins, and Peter Craig
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore and Donald Sutherland
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Synopsis: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.- (Source)
I have to point out how awesome the assembled cast was for this film from the A-listiness of Jennifer Lawrence to the Oscary goodness of Julianne Moore to a couple of my favorite character actors in Michelle Forbes and Mahershala Ali…the casting director for this franchise deserves an award.
Of course Donald Sutherland, like in the previous films, is a joy to watch as the evil President Snow and I was actually a bit saddened at the thought of never seeing him play this role again. And while Katniss was still a Mopey Molly in this movie at least she was an active one.
Speaking of being active, the action scenes were fun and thrilling with all of the varied attacks from the Capitol’s best game makers proving some really cool excitement.
As much as I loved the cast, a lot of them were wasted. Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks basically had glorified cameos and Julianne Moore entire character of rebellion leader Coin seemed like it had chunks of scenes missing that would have better served the big reveal of the character’s true intentions.
Also the ending of the movie was a bit of a mess. The way Coin and then Snow were dispatched seemed rushed and not well constructed while the happy ending coda was overlong and not very entertaining.
The two leading men that Lawrence had to play off of continued their terribleness. At least they were consistent I guess. Liam Hemsworth was even less of a presence in this movie than in the previous ones and the conclusion of the Gale/Katniss relationship was just one big shoulder shrug.
And then there was Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. In four movies he and Lawrence were totally incapable of generating even a minute spark of romantic chemistry which is crazy because Lawrence was somehow able to squeeze a tiny bit of chemistry out of that animated cinder block Hemsworth but got zilch out of Hutcherson. I just have to state for the fourth time in a review that Hutcherson is the biggest miscasting of the last 20 years.
Final Verdict: An enjoyable finale for a franchise that really only needed 3 films to tell its story. The same issues from the previous films remained but an increase in action helped to make the weaknesses not seem as glaring as the first installment of Mockingjay.