Movies and TVThe Hunger Games: Everything You Need to Know Before Mockingjay - Part 2
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (Preview)
Directed by Francis Lawrence. Produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik. Written by Danny Strong and Peter Craig. Release date: November 20, 2015.
Despite being an unnecessary split, the filmmakers behind The Hunger Games decided to split the final book into two films. While Part 1 wasn't all that good, it did create more than enough hype for Part 2, if only because we need to see the conclusion to the story. Besides, there's precedent for Part 2s to be the best films in franchises. It happened with both Harry Potter and Twilight, after all. As such, it's easy to get excited for Mockingjay - Part 2.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence): The film's protagonist. She volunteered for the 74th Hunger Games and was a co-winner. She showed direct defiance of the Capitol during the 75th Hunger Games, and is now acting as a symbol for resistance against the Capitol and President Snow.
Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson): The co-winner of the 74th Hunger Games. He was part of a plan to defy the Capitol during the 75th Hunger Games but didn't escape afterward. He was captured by the Capitol and brainwashed into hating Katniss.
Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth): Katniss Everdeen's best friend and possible love interest. Helped plan the act of defiance that was the 75th Hunger Games.
Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson): An alcoholic who mentored Katniss and Peeta in the 74th and 75th Hunger Games. One of the key figures in plotting the rebellion against the Capitol.
President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland): The ruler of Panem and the Capitol. The series' antagonist. Hates Katniss and the other rebels.
Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman): The Gamemaker of the 75th Hunger Games. Revealed to be a rebel and part of the group planning to overthrow the capitol.
Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks): The Capitol-assigned chaperone of the District 12 tributes. Joins the rebellion.
Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci): The Master of Ceremonies and commentator for the Hunger Games.
Primrose "Prim" Everdeen (Willow Shields): Katniss' sister. Initially chosen as District 12's tribute for the Hunger Games, but her sister took her place.
President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore): The leader of District 13. Part of the rebel group looking to take down the Capitol.
Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin): A contestant in the 75th Hunger Games. A rebel fighting against the Capitol.
Johanna Mason (Jena Malone): A contestant in the 75th Hunger Games. A rebel fighting against the Capitol.
Beetee Latier (Jeffrey Wright): A contestant in the 75th Hunger Games. A rebel fighting against the Capitol.
Why Should You Care?
This is the film we've been waiting for forever since The Hunger Games films started. It's the conclusion of a franchise, one that's been pretty good. It promises the best action, strong dramatic moments, hammering home of relevant themes, and finally the end to a story of which we only got half in the last film, even though we paid full theatrical prices.
As I mentioned earlier, there's a precedent already set for these Part 2s to be the best films in the franchise. Harry Potter finally got great with The Deathly Hallows - Part 2, and Twilight has 20 minutes of some of the best action you'll ever see in Breaking Dawn - Part 2. And with the earlier Hunger Games films already of consistently higher quality than those two, that only bodes well for its conclusion.
For film nerds, Mockingjay - Part 2 will be almost essential viewing simply because it marks the final film role of Philip Seymour Hoffman, a great actor we lost too soon. It has a very strong cast outside of Hoffman, of course - apart from Liam Hemsworth, who is just dreadful - but Hoffman will draw in some who were never interested in the series simply because it is his last role. It'll be interesting to see just how the filmmakers managed to make that work, since Hoffman was reportedly not finished filming his role before he passed away.
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