Ever more anguished yet still resilient, Jennifer Lawrence’s renegade warrior Katniss Everdeen reaches the final stage in her struggle to liberate dystopian future state Panem, turning a supposedly behind-the-front-line propaganda mission into an unsanctioned quest to assassinate Donald Sutherland’s ruthless President Snow in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.
As Katniss and her handpicked team advance towards the heart of the decadent Capitol, there are times when this last adventure feels something of a trudge, although a breathless, adrenaline-surging chase through sewers and tunnels both quickens the pace and our pulses.
We certainly don’t see enough of the saga’s most colourful supporting characters, such as Woody Harrelson’s boozy dandy and Elizabeth Banks’s vain fashionista, and the resolution of the Katniss-Gale-Peeta love-triangle intrigue is less than spellbinding.
Fortunately, Lawrence’s steely magnetism holds everything together, her magnificent heroine embodying the tale’s tensions and conflicts while remaining a beacon of integrity and hope to the end.
Certificate 12. Runtime 131 mins. Director Francis Lawrence
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is available on DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Steelbook and Digital HD from 21 March.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.