The Capital is conquered in the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Following the unprecedented commercial, cultural and critical success of the Harry Potter franchise, film studios realized that they have hit the jackpot. They have discovered a new film niche that can bring them billions of dollars: movie adaptations of book series about young adults, who live in alternative versions of our world. They believed that every franchise like Harry Potter would be successful. However, the attempts of successfully adapting series like Narnia or Percy Jackson have flopped so badly, they still leave a bad taste in viewers’ mouths.

Nevertheless, there was one particular franchise that, although did not come close to the success of Harry Potter, still received universal acclaim: The Hunger Games. A story of a young Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the dystopian world called “Panem” and tries to bring down the autocratic dictatorship, was a very novel and prepossessing material, which initially touched the hearts of millions of fans around the world.

It instantly became a classic. Being the modern kid-friendly version of 20th century dystopian novels like 1984 and Brave New World, The Hunger Games has won its place under the sun primarily due to its originality. The attempts to repeat the success of Harry Potter with trilogies like Divergent and The Maze Runner, just seemed superficial and redundant. Although both franchises very moderately successful, they were outshined by The Hunger Games and eventually fell into the cultural oblivion.

After four years of anticipation, The Hunger Games came to its conclusion on Nov. 20, when the series finale, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, was officially released in the United States. The wait was truly anxious and desperate, which makes it even worse that the movie is just one big disappointment.

It is plain boring, anticlimactic and predictable, unlike the successful book series. Everdeen’s victory and the destruction of the regime is being received with moderate praise from the talk show audiences being told when to clap and when to boo. Even the movie’s most crucial and unexpected scenes and plot twists f all flat.

The movie’s only somewhat-exciting scene is when Everdeen, Peeta and their team, are running away from the human-like monsters called “Muds,” and even that lasts for a couple of moments because the suspense of a cheap horror movie ends when the scene becomes exceptionally long. Time and time again, everything just becomes anticlimactic and rapidly, but not dynamically, declines into a happy ending, as the characters always run into pure luck in order to make it out alive.

With it becoming obvious, it is clear that somewhat of a happy ending is not too far in the distance after three movies of misfortune.   One great aspect of this particular movie is acting, especially from the lead, Jennifer Lawrence, and a surprising antagonist, Julianne Moore, who have both become Academy Award winners since they joined the cast back in 2011. Moore did a great job of portraying a two-faced politician, who does not seek justice, but rather power and fame.

Lawrence, on the other hand, brilliantly portrayed her character as the ultimate hero, who does what is good, despite what people around her think. She shows Katniss’ evolution by portraying her as a wiser, more focused and valiant soldier, who has settled down and will now think twice before choosing to make a reckless decision.

Lawrence’s acting has already proved that Meryl Streep better watch out. That alone makes the movie worth watching.

The producers’ decision to split the final book into two movies might have also impacted the quality of the storytelling. Not only has it sabotaged and dragged out the anticipation, it also distracted the focus from the plot and the message and most importantly, caused both parts to seem superfluous.

It would have been more efficient and dynamic for the Mockingjay book to be told in one movie, despite its possible lengthiness. Producers were given a choice of either quantity or quality, and they favored the former in order to extend the economic success of the first two movies: a parabola of how big money degrades art.

The idea that such a captivating series, a cultural phenomon, has come to such a abrubt end is suprising and slightly saddening. Through the franchise Jennifer Lawerence, Josh Hutcherson, and, Liam Hemsworth and even Amandla Stenberg have started or elevated their careers with their performances.

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