‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’
Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson
3 (out of 5) Globes
Mark this as the moment when all the kids were nuts for a relentlessly grim march through the fog of war. “Mockingjay — Part 2,” the closer of the “Hunger Games” movie quadrilogy, is bleak, tough, rough, powerfully humorless and maybe even important. There’s little YA soap left. Our heroes, most of all mascot of the rebellion Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), are tired, hollowed-out, ready to die. No one can be trusted, not even the noble revolutionaries. Even the happy ending tastes so grossly fake that it seems like author Suzanne Collins just threw in the towel and had mercy on her characters — the ones she let live, that is.
The final episode begins with Katniss staring at her purple and blue neck, previously strangled by a deranged Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). The rest of the film will have spills and thrills, but it will also be about scars that don’t heal — the eternal presence of real, crippling trauma. Katniss can’t even trust her revolutionary overlords, and especially not leader Alma Coin, played by Julianne Moore, who wears a permanent, uncanny expression of both bland benevolence and deviance. Katniss believes killing Panem president/tyrant Snow (Donald Sutherland) will fix everything, but even that seems like a fantasy.
The middle of “Mockingjay 2” finds Katniss and freedom fighters traversing through a booby-trapped Capital City. That sounds like a tricked-out “Escape from New York,” except it’s never fun — not when they have to outrun some black goo, not as they spelunk through the sewers, not even when they’re besieged by a swarm of eyeless, Gigerian beasties. Characters both beloved and expendable perish, one by one, as do, eventually, children.