The Hunger Games young adult franchise has come a long way since introducing Jennifer Lawrence as the young, brave, but sometimes sour protagonist Katniss Everdeen. Author Suzanne Collins introduced readers to her science fiction dystopian novel that told how the nation parted into 13 districts, each with a different strength that provided the great Capitol with what it needs.
For 74 years, an underage boy and a girl from each district would be selected to fight to the death in the Hunger Games arena in order to provide a year’s worth of supplies to their district. It wasn’t until Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute for her sister Primrose, that changed the games for good, and also created the real world’s next exciting franchise.
The third installment of the book series, Mockingjay, was split into two parts. Part one stretched out a basic introduction of the previously fallen military District 13. President Coin, played by Julianne Moore, is their leader and tasks Katniss to be the Mockingjay symbol to unite the districts against President Snow played by Donald Sutherland. It isn’t until part two that the rest of the emotion, deaths and victories take place.
Part two starts right after Peeta Mellark, Josh Hutcherson, brutally choked Katniss. It focused on her neck bruises and her fear of Peeta’s Capitol corruption into “mutt-status.” Parts one and two would be best watched simultaneously after one another because part one is slow in action and part two crams a lot of action and quick, emotional deaths into 140 minutes.
Part one never seemed to developed a climax, mostly because they were saving the wedding, deaths and new babies for another year.
As part two continues through the story line, it is almost all climax. Many of the characters are in play and if the viewer never read the books before, it could be overwhelming and difficult to be emotionally attached to the newest minor leads when they are murdered. Audiences find tension and cringe-in-your-seat suspense when Katniss, Peeta, and their team try their luck in the sewer tunnels in order to reach President Snow’s mansion.
The audience jumped from their seats when 10’s of the Capitol’s sharp-toothed, white-skinned, no-eyed “mutts” attacked the group and savagely ripped at a main character; and it is Katniss who blows up the hoard of monsters and her friend before running to high ground. The team is picked off one by one by the Capitol’s traps, and the suspended action increases when Katniss reaches the gates of Snow’s mansion.
Their security, or peacekeepers, are taking the Capitol’s own children first to sanctuary. The graphics are very clear and dramatic when more tragedy erupts and bombs kill civilians and someone special is murdered in front of Katniss.
There is profound anxiety felt outside the film when Katniss finally approaches Snow in his white rose garden. Sutherland’s performance is nerve-wracking as he gives his “we never lie to each other” line to Katniss with his wicked smile. His last line of the movie ends with another hysterical dying laugh as Katniss chooses against her orders from President Coin.
After the violence ends, an epilogue is presented about Katniss and the man she chooses to love. The peaceful field scene ends with her explaining why nightmares exist to her new baby and how she learned to cope with them.
The novels are a compelling read and the last film gave justice to fans who may have despair now that the story has ended, but now know what true courage is.