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Hunger Games, The: Mockingjay Part 2


Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks. Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Michelle Forbes, Sarita Choudhury

Director: Francis Lawrence

By far the best of the four Hunger Games films, this fluid narrative provides almost non-stop thrills, excitement and suspense. Such respites as do occur are meaningful rather than descending into tedium. And Lawrence as the arrow-bearing Katniss Everdeen gets a chance to do a bit more acting in this one as well as wield a mighty bow; of course, she rises to the occasion.

As the story opens, she's recovering from the traumatic events of Part 1 while Peeta (Hutcherson) has become a ticking time bomb, as likely to kill her as protect her.

Coin (Moore), president of the rebels, who seems to be developing delusions of grandeur, restores Katniss to her role of Mockingjay, symbol of the revolution against despotic President Snow (Sutherland at his oiliest), with a view to uniting the various districts in one mighty assault on the Panem capital.

Katniss, still bent on her own aim of killing Snow, becomes part of an elite unit sent to photograph the rebels' advance. Her colleagues include would-be suitor Gale and 12 more. But many spectacular traps lie in wait along the way and the squad is soon whittled down, climaxing in a fearsome and desperate battle against 'mutts' in underground tunnels.

Performances in this final segment are uniformly good, especially Sutherland and Moore, while Hutcherson, like Lawrence, does his best work in all of the Hunger Games quartet. You'll guess Katniss' final decision long before the moment comes, but there's a neat ending with a sweet last line.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Technicolor.
134 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 21 Nov 2015