I have a confession to make: I didn’t like Mockingjay that much.
It was the weakest book in The Hunger Games series, but I was driven to finish it by an obsessive desire to know what happened to the people of Panem.
So, my expectations for the fourth movie in the The Hunger Games franchise were not high. It turns out though, that watching The Hunger Games movies is actually the inverse of reading the books, and Mockingjay Part 2 is an engaging, thrilling, and importantly restrained end to the franchise.
First, you need to be up to date.
Before we get started Spoiler Alert! For all the Hunger Games books and movies. All of them.
Katniss Everdeen is a kid from the coal-mining district of fascist future-world Panem. She volunteers to take the place of her little sister Prim in the annual Hunger Games, a deadly competition that pits kids from the 12 districts against each other in a fight to the death. Katniss and fellow district 12 tribute Peeta Mellark manage to co-win the games through the cultivation of a love story. Their victory undermines the Capitol and makes dictator-in-chief President Snow, very very unhappy.
During their victory tour of the districts, people begin to revolt against Snow and the Capitol, taking inspiration from Katniss and using her Mockingjay call to signify their defiance.
Snow plots to kill Katniss. He devises a different format for the next Hunger Games, forcing Katniss and Peeta back into the arena, alongside other former victors. But rebels hijack the games and bring Katniss to safety. Peeta is left behind to be tortured and brainwashed.
The rebels are led by President Coin, and are hidden in the remains of thought-destroyed district 13. They embark on a propaganda campaign using Katniss as their symbol of freedom and the people of the districts eventually rise up. Panem, at the end of Mockingjay Part 1, is in revolt.
Peeta and fellow victor Johanna Mason are rescued from the capitol and brought back to district 13. Where unstable, brainwashed Peeta tries to kill Katniss.
Also there is a boy from district 12 called Gale. He loves Katniss. Katniss doesn’t know whether she loves him or Peeta.
Which brings us to Mockingjay Part 2.