Final Hunger Games film ends epic series

Patina Miller plays Commander Paylor in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.

Patina Miller plays Commander Paylor in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is an epic science fiction war film directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong. It is the second of two cinematic parts based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, and the fourth and final installment in The Hunger Games film series, produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and distributed by Lionsgate.

The $125 million film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman (in his final film role), and Donald Sutherland. It is the sequel to the first part of the Mockingjay adaptation, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which was released on November 21, 2014. The first three films have earned over 2.3 billion dollars at the box office worldwide.

Although rebels, including fellow victors Johanna (Jena Malone), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), and Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) – now control most of Panem, Katniss Everdeen – the ‘Girl on Fire’ – must still overcome one last challenge to win President Snow’s “game” and conquer the Capitol at the risk of losing her friends and loved ones. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in the Hunger Games as she realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival – they are for the future of Panem.

With the nation of Panem in a full-scale revolutionary war, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Along with Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), they risk their lives to liberate the citizens of Panem, and stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying Katniss.

As the story unwinds, lives are lost and sacrifices are made to bring this epic series to a very satisfying, if unexpected, resolution. To this reviewer the editing seemed a bit unusual at times, and more exposition would have been appreciated, but all in all, it puts a great coda to a scintillating series.

The film also features standout performances by a great supporting cast, including Patina Miller as Commander Paylor, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen, Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Gwendoline Christie as Commander Lyme, Stef Dawson as Annie Cresta, Paula Malcomson as Mrs. Everdeen, Wes Chatham as Castor, Elden Henson as Pollux, Meta Golding as Enobaria, and Michelle Forbes as Lieutenant Jackson.

Maryann Johanson has noted about Commander Paylor that “it is absolutely thrilling to see a black woman (she’s played by Patina Miller) speak with unquestioned power and persuasion to masses of people of every gender and color.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, is rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material) and runs 2 hr. 16 min. See it now at your local Carmike Cinema.