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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Pt. 2

January 18, 2016

written by Brian Shesko

Student Activities presents another outstanding Movie Night, featuring The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, on Saturday, January 23 in the LaHaye Event Space. There will be two showings, the first at 8:30 p.m. and the second at approx. 10:30 p.m.

As movies based on a popular book series go, you can’t ask for much more than The Hunger Games franchise. On the scale from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2 to the three Radagast stains that are The Hobbit movies, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Parts 1 & 2 are certainly on the higher, Harry Potter side. Turning one book into two (or three) movies is definitely a “cash grab”, as at least one prominent reviewer has called it. But this is not surprising (it is a Hollywood blockbuster franchise, after all), and it is not necessarily a bad thing. That same reviewer reminds us that between the first Hunger Games movie and Mockingjay Part 2, Jennifer Lawrence went from up-and-coming star to Academy Award winner and major star. Her performance as Katniss Everdeen is nearly unanimously regarded as the defining aspect of the franchise, so from that perspective, perhaps more is better. As another critic argued, Jennifer Lawrence gave “way more” to The Hunger Games than it gave back to her.

Simply put, it’s sad when a story ends, and the quality performances from Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, and rest of the supporting cast, as well as the final on-screen moments of Philip Seymour Hoffman, punctuate this. But this series needed dynamic performances, especially in the concluding chapter, to take on such difficult themes as celebrity and excess, the effects of war and poverty on a people, oppression, and racism. The various conflicts, whether external, internal, or interpersonal, are represented well in the action and on the faces of the actors. And though the series is one of post-apocalyptic action that features a good amount of violence, reviewer Jessica Gibson raises an excellent point concerning this: The violence is never glorified, and is never shown “as anything other than awful and destructive.” No one would argue that Mockingjay Part 2 was a perfect ending to the series, but it is certainly a good one. As for the lasting impact and legacy of The Hunger Games, that remains to be seen. But there is no denying it has been one of the top movie franchises of the past 15 years, so the series as a whole deserves our attention, with Mockingjay Part 2 holding particular importance as the conclusion of the story.

As usual, our Movie Night is free to attend, with free popcorn, and other concessions are available for purchase. Please contact email us with any questions or concerns, and be sure to check out our website for more information about our upcoming Movie Nights and other events.