The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)

I’ve reviewed the other three instalments in the series, so for completeness sake, I feel like I should say a few words about the final (maybe) Hunger Games film too.

An excellent script, taut direction and an astonishing cast – the magnificent Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson are the particular stand-outs, but Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland and, of course, the much-missed Philip Seymour Hoffman are also tremendous – combine to make Mockingjay Part 2 a visceral, dark, downbeat, terrific end to a fantastic run of films, unusual in terms of purportedly teen movies for the care that’s obviously gone into crafting and casting them, the central, essential role of the heroine as a leader in her own right (as opposed to her romantic value) and the defiantly depressing, grown-up nature of the story being told.

With its sky-high, completely merciless, body count, Part 2 isn’t the easiest of blockbuster movies to watch and I found myself in tears more than once, but, along with its predecessor, it’s certainly among the most thoughtful and empathetic about the realities of modern warfare, both in and out of the arena of battle. Victory, if it can be called that, comes at a horrific price,  and the effect on the survivors is indelible. As conflicts across the planet rage on in real life, and our own world seems constantly on the brink of disaster with people inciting hatred and violence all over the place, there’s a lesson to be learned from films like this one, transcending the young adult genre it sprung from. If only the people who could do something about it paid attention.

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