Katniss Everdeen is the Girl On Fire, the survivor of multiple brutal televised child murder competitions, and generally a steely, boss bitch. She’s become the figurehead of a revolution, and after spending the previous movie starring in political attack ads, this time she’s out on the streets, trying to commit more murder and watching other people’s political attack ads. She spends most of the final chapter of her story staring vacantly into the middle distance as other people explain things to her, or tell her what to do next, and occasionally she pauses to listen to two unworthy boys she does not seem particularly interested in argue over which one of them should win her at the end of the movie. You know, like a prize.
Jennifer Lawrence has been very good as Katniss, playing her not as a warrior but as a terrified kid just trying to survive, which means that she is sometimes selfish and doesn’t see the bigger picture, which is an interesting and somewhat nuanced idea of a heroine, but this time she plays Katniss as a mannequin because nothing Katniss says or thinks matters in this movie. She makes one choice at the end of the movie that actually matters—not for nothing it’s the best scene in the movie and also the one in which Lawrence is most engaged—and spends the rest of her time listening to two her two dumb boyfriends talk about her while she pretends to be asleep.
There has never been a stupider YA love triangle than Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. There is nary a speck of chemistry to be found anywhere amongst these three, and though Josh Hutcherson does pretty well with Peeta when he’s just playing him as a PTSD-riddled torture victim, he has ZERO chemistry with Lawrence. The idea of Katniss and Peeta producing children at the end of the movie is hilarious, like the idea of Barbie and Ken reproducing with their smooth plastic parts. Gale is even worse—Liam Hemsworth has nothing to do with Gale except be jealous and creepily possessive of Katniss, with whom he has even less chemistry than Peeta. When the three of them are on screen together they create a black hole that threatens to destroy our galaxy.
There is no momentum in Mockingjay Part 2, as the pacing is terrible. There are two and a half action sequences in a movie that should have been an all-action battle climax, and they’re all way too brief to actually enliven a movie that manages to feel both overstuffed and underwritten. All the interesting side characters like Johanna, Cressida, THE TIGER LADY WHY WASN’T THIS ENTIRE THING ABOUT THE TIGER LADY, and Haymitch are completely sidelined and barely have anything to do because we have to make sure we get in that third scene of Peeta and Gale trying to guilt trip Katniss into loving them. Presidents Snow and Coin at least have a little more to do what with all their political attack ads.
A bunch of people die in Mockingjay, but none of it matters because no one’s death changes the momentum of the story at all. This is why I don’t like it when people act like death is the only stakes that matter in a movie. From the beginning Katniss has a plan and no matter who dies, she never waivers or even reconsiders her plan. Even when she reveals she lied about having a mission to assassinate Snow nothing changes. The others are just like, “Well yeah, we figured.” There are no consequences to anything that actually happens in the movie. No, not even Prim’s death has any real relevance besides being Child Murder #11,712. By the time Prim checks out, Katniss is already on a determined path and Prim’s death does not affect that path at all. If Prim lived—same exact outcome. And then in the end Peeta shows up at Katniss’s house and she marries him because he’s there. Girl Power!