Before I start into this - I never read nor plan to read the books and I have seen all the movies prior to this one. I liked the first movie, second movie was OK, the first half of this was kind of boring while I would rate this in second place - pretty decent!
I was hostile to the idea of the movie coming into it, but unlike Spectre the first few scenes didn't shatter my sense of disbelief with a helicopter in Mexico City centre. I dislike the idea of books being split into parts (starting with Deathly Hallows onward into Hobbit) but it kind of worked with this. Maybe not seeing as the first half of Mockingjay was crap but the second half felt like a whole movie by itself, albeit a sequel.
Katniss is back and we're right where we left off: probably the best scene in the whole first half was Peeta attacking her due to being brainwashed by the President Snow. She recovers and they feed her sister to the calm yet screaming internally Peeta, thankfully she doesn't get hurt like Katniss did but Peeta starts yelling anyway.
A fort that supplies the Capital with weapons needs to be taken out; I liked the plan they put in place to deal with it and they didn't spend Walking Dead amounts of time resolving the morals of the situation. They execute the plan which is a lovely compromise and things go briefly tits-up but it's too early for anything too tragic to happen so Katniss and friends survive morality intact.
The trailers for this which I wasn't avoiding too zealously unlike some other ones hinted at some sort of grand rebel charge into the capital - this doesn't happen on-screen, instead Katniss and other Hunger Games winning friends are hand-picked to be in an elite dungeon-crawling squad that won't see any real action only very controlled amounts of it for their propaganda teams to film. This idea rapidly goes to shit but I quite enjoyed the movie-within-a-movie, mainly because it is not left hanging around unlike the first part of Mockingjay.
The rebels are attacking the capital in the background while Snow is leading them all into a trap, or so he tells us. Makes sense to me, even when he appeared on all the screens later calling all citizens to come in toward his mansion where they would get food and water and shelter. I figured it was some sort of human shield plan to stop Katniss and friends from attacking him for fear of harming the citizenry but woah was I wrong. I figured the post-war climate would not be satisfying for everyone and Katniss may face opposition but it was a great move by the initial winner of the war as long as it lasted. I was figuring more along the lines of Katniss being too much of a prophet/revolutionary to rule once the fighting was done and they do eventually settle on the perfect leader but the post-war scuffle was very satisfying and I loved President Snow's last scene, that was the second wham moment that pushed me into liking the film and wanting to write something favourable about it here.
I am a huge fan of post-conflict PTSD scenes done well (see The Pacific) so I loved the moments of calm and 'what now?' that followed for our heroes after the fighting was done. I actually loved the epilogue because I didn't expect it to go down exactly like that and yet it made perfect sense and I am also a huge sap.
Apologies for lesser quality here and there assorted bots who read this I am just after putting Theo to bed and need to eat like 12 custard creams to relax before bed in another few hours. He's great at going to sleep and staying asleep I am just a huge diabetic in the making.
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