Movie review: ‘Mockingjay Part 2’ keeps PG-13 rating

Sierra Miller

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“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the seventy-sixth Hunger Games.”

Even though Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) said this sardonically, “Mockingjay Part 2” continues with their theme from the other two movies but in its adaptation from book to movie, loses some of the horrors that occur in war.

Starting off with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) recovering an attack from Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). The film slowly gains traction as she sneaks into the front lines to kill President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

Her internal monologue is a constant presence in these scenes, as she is purely driven with revenge and intent to end the President. After a long montage fueled with explosions, machine gun fire and yelling, the rebels take hold of the capitol and effectively win the 76 Hunger Games.

Director Francis Lawrence and his production team have claimed in previous interviews the various challenges in putting the graphic content of war on the screen. In order to keep a PG-13 rating, a lot of the gore inside the capitol was glossed over or kept out of frame.

The infamous scene of Katniss losing her sister Primrose (Willow Shields) is only shown in a series of jump cuts and we never see her body after the explosions.

Another challenge within The Hunger Games trilogy is the balance between the action and Katniss’ monologue of dealing with her trauma from the games and losing people she cares about because of a war she believes she created. She is selfish and emotionally driven and we only see glimpses of that. “Mockingjay Part 2” does a fantastic job of the scene dealing with Katniss’ grief. When Katniss finally returns home in District 12, Primrose’s cat, Buttercup, greets her.

She screams at the cat because Primrose is never coming back, but in the end Katniss grabs the scraggly orange cat with half of one ear missing, hugs it and bawls. In the entire moment, this is the most raw and accurate portrayal of the grief from losing people in the war.

In the aftermath of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s (Plutarch Heavensbee) death, the production team opted to rewrite him out of a scene instead of attempting to CGI (computer-generated imagery) the actor. It seemed like a more appropriate choice to honor his passing.

The final film in the series tried its best to show horror and to show the healing after a revolution, but some things are just best left to the books.

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