| 03.17.2018

Not hungry anymore — the last “Hunger Games” book could have been one movie, not two


Austin Maas | Rawr

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2” is the final installment in a series of movies adapted from the wildly popular book trilogy “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins.

Each of the three movies previously released have received mixed reviews from fans, but most feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Though it’s nearly impossible for films to exactly replicate what is published in a book, the movies have consistently done an adequate job staying faithful to the books, much to the respect of hardcore fans. This film was no exception. Leaving the theater, I noted only minor differences to the original story, none of which were particularly upsetting.RawrR4

Unfortunately though, the long awaited film has still led many fans to leave the theater shrugging their shoulders. It’s an average film — decent at best.

While most of the acting was excellent, there were a few instances where the dialogue was painfully over-played and far too dramatic. Jennifer Lawrence did an exceptional job as usual, but a lot of the more intense emotional scenes left viewers with a sense of deja vu. It felt as if most of the heavier moments in the film were noticeably similar to the previous movies.

My biggest qualm with this film — a point of tension for many fans — is represented in the title. “Part 2.” I, like many others, take issue with the gimmick of splitting a book into two parts in an effort to ‘fit everything in.’ This is a shift that’s occurring with many popular film series and in many cases it’s purely for the sake of making more money.

One extreme case of this greedy studio magic is the recent adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” Somehow, the masterminds behind this series managed to turn a single 300-page book into three lengthy movies — most of which were filled with completely fabricated content unseen in the original.

The only time splitting a book for the movie has been remotely successful was with the final “Harry Potter” book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling. In this case, the creators had over 600 pages of content to work with and they managed to build two respectably faithful movies.

Without an abundance of content to work with, splitting a book into two movies can suck a series dry and lead to a two-dimensional plot with very little depth.

Many of the redundancies in the “Hunger Games” series appear in the last two films, most of which could’ve been avoided had the final book never been split to begin with. The book is not large by any standard, and by dragging out the final portion the creators lost some passion from viewers. But, like many others, I paid to see the film and it will undoubtedly be very successful.

Rant aside, there were portions of the film that stood out to me. The action sequences in this movie are a major improvement to that of the previous films. Finally, the visual effects and set design were stunning and completely immersive. All in all I give it a highly critical 6.5/10.

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