The Dystopialympics grinds to a downbeat end as Katniss Everdine (Jennifer Lawrence, obviously) and her band of rebels close in on the mansion where Donald Sutherland’s Snow conducts his evil.
To be honest, this is yet another franchise over-milking itself and leaving a sour taste in the mouth because nobody really needed the finale to be split into two parts. The story simply doesn’t stretch that far and this episode, despite clocking in at well over two hours, feels like one very over-extended chase movie.
Guided by Julianne Moore’s rebel leader Alma Coin (nice grey power suit), Katniss and her small band of black-clad chums infiltrate various tunnels and Escher-like buildings. There’s a good bit with some deadly oil they have to not get on their clothes, and a reasonably exciting encounter with subterranean screechy blind monster things in the sewers, which nevertheless felt vaguely familiar from something else (still can’t work out what -partly that thing with Sean Harris on the London Underground – Creep, was it?).
But it all felt very episodic and bitty, with the cameos from Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright and Elizabeth Banks very much ticked off. I did like Natalie Dormer and Jena Malone but the love rivalry between Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta and Liam Hemsworth’s Gale, well even Katniss looks bored by that.
Only J-Law’s charisma pulls this one through, her determined young face so luminous in the close-ups that all the plot, passion and power games have to be read in these moments. And it does lead to a very good twist right at the end, the timing of which has been somewhat bungled by having to wait so blimmin’ long for it.
No, the only real shock is seeing the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who hovers around like a reproachful ghost, his very appearance sending a chill around the audience.