Take a Drink: whenever brainwashed Peeta is a dick or flips out.
Take a Drink: for every speech and/or mandatory capitol update.
Take a Sip: any time you hear “Mockingjay”, “Katniss”, “Peeta”, or “Snow”.
Pour a Little Out: for Phillip Seymour Hoffman and his last film.
Do a Shot: for each pod detonation and/or pod-related death.
Take a Sip: whenever Katniss and Peeta play “Real or Not Real”.
Shotgun Your Beer: when Katniss’s arrow takes down Hitler 2.0
Movie Marathon Rule: if you watch Mockingjay Part 1 & 2 together, Take a Drink: every time Katniss passes out and wakes up in a medical bay.
By: Felix Felicis (Two Beers) –
Ding Dong the witch is dead! Or, more accurately, another teen film franchise is. The Hunger Games franchise, adapted from Suzanne Collins’ novels, has, for quite some time, been at the pinnacle of the teen adaptation empire. With a leg up on the Divergent franchise (sorry Shailene Woodley, but J-Law has you dead-to-rights with better acting), an arm and a leg above Stephenie Meyers’ The Host – and leagues above Meyers’ Twilight Saga– which left cinematic skidmarks on the underpants of cinema- (we did bad things in a previous life and Kristen Stewart is why we can’t have nice things), it’s with a heavy heart we bid adieu to the only franchise in recent memory that at no point made me actively want to stab myself in the face with a barbecue fork. Strap on your beer helmets, campers, and wave goodbye to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 follows immediately on the heels of events from Part 1 where Katniss and the rebel gang are waging a war on tyranny to free a people held under the thumb of ruthless dictator President Snow. Or are they? There’s no clear good or evil and the regime-in-waiting led by almost-certain-sociopath President Alma Coin is hardly much better than the one already in place. Same bat place, same bat time for Katniss and her love triangle as well. So this small town girl has to figure out (in under three hours) how to wrap up the last half of the book, save the rebellion from not-so-well-intentioned clutches, SURVIVE the rebellion and, oh yeah, choose between two dudes. Good luck with that, J-Law, I can barely remember to put on pants when the pizza guy shows up.
J-LAW OWNS US ALL.
Oh? You need more than that? FINE. The Hunger Games franchise still begins and ends with Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. This quartet of films manages to earn my rare “as good as or better than the book” badge because Suzanne Collins writes a darker, more violent source material than we see on the screen (the final film dips its toe into those churning manic waters but doesn’t dive ALL the way in) and Lawrence elevates a detached, self-involved character from page to screen and manages to turn Katniss into someone who I never connected with to a girl I actually gave two shits about. Maybe even three. And, for a girl who spends a lot of time crying, screaming, and/or passed out due to injury, that’s a pretty good trick. Then again, if you’ve seen Silver Linings Playbook or American Hustle (if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times) you know that this is just the tip of the iceberg where J-Law’s talents lie.
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last film appearance gives us less Plutarch Heavensbee than we’d like, but still a final chance to watch a once-in-a-lifetime talent onscreen. Not to mention, the ensemble cast comes to life in this film like they never have before, where the stakes (and risks) are higher than ever as the action, political intrigue, and love triangle all come to explosive ends. Elizabeth Banks as Effie turns a small character into a deep and nuanced role in tandem with Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch- and alongside Sam Claflin’s swashbuckling yet honorable Finnick Odair. Hats off to Julianne Moore’s surreptitiously sociopathic President Alma Coin as well. Basically, everyone in this movie killed it- sometimes quite literally.
Mockingjay 2 has all the action you were missing in Part 1 and the momentum keeps you on the edge of your seat until the credits begin to roll. It’s a stellar end to the franchise and views best when watched back-to-back with Part 1. There wasn’t really a need to split this into two movies other than the usual box office cash grab, but it was a well-executed (trust me you’ll get that joke eventually) film and I enjoyed every hormone-drenched, teenage-angst-ridden second of it.
Dear Mockingjay 2 promotional executives, YOU CAN’T PROMISE ME COOL RED ARMOR AND SWEET MOCKINGJAY CAMO FACEPAINT AND THEN NOT FOLLOW THROUGH, OKAY? COOL. Seriously, way to raise the bar on my expectations for this film and then never deliver. Kind of like relationships or when Uber won’t drive you home from the bar without pants. But I digress. Mockingjay 2 had some of the same very minor problems that the first film had. No, I’m not talking about the tone (considerably darker than any of the previous films) which has earned Mockingjay 2 some critical flak. I’m actually on board with that. I’m talking about the pacing in the sense of the slightly jagged time jumps that never have any explanation. At All.
Also, a minor flaw is when Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed, most of his character’s involvement was lessened seamlessly with transitional influence to other characters… EXCEPT in the super-obvious, glaringly jarring letter that Haymitch reads to Katniss at the end. Just give the dialogue to Haymitch. Seriously, do I have to think of everything you guys? And finally, for a film about two guys and a girl that’s NOT a porn, there was a slight lack of sexual tension. Anywhere. I get that this is a fight for survival and political upheaval and whatnot but if all I see onscreen is some hamster-nibble kisses and cuddling then you lost me at the end a little bit with the final resolution BECAUSE IT TAKES MORE THAN A CUDDLE TO MAKE BABIES. I’m assuming. You need like a cabbage patch and some vodka, too, right?
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is an action-packed, universally enjoyable, visually explosive conclusion to the story about a girl and her bow. No vampires were sparkled in the making of this movie.