** and 1/2 out of ****
The forth and final Hunger Games movie unfortunately fizzles instead of going out with a bang. Mockingjay – Part 2 (This third chapter in Suzanne Collins' book trilogy was split into two movies) finds former contestant of a televised blood sport, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), leading a resistance against the Capital and its ruler, President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who keeps the people repressed. Katniss' beau, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), has been rescued from the Capital but he has been tortured and brainwashed. More than anything, Katniss wants to kill Snow.
After a sluggish start with rebel briefing after rebel briefing on how they will invade the Capital, there is a protracted mission to get there, with booby traps and mutants along the way. Some of the action is exciting, but then some of it feels like filler for this 137-minute feature.
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, as game creator Plutarch Heavensbee, tragically died during a hiatus in the filming of Mockingjay and the loss really shows in the finished film. He is hardly in it, and the scenes that he is in, he generally stands around, has a line or two, then gives a look of approval.
I give the movie points for a finale that is thoughtful and complex and not just kill-the-bad-guy simple, but it just fades away instead of ending on a powerful note. Chalk this up as a disappointing wrap up to a fairly good series.