Verdict: Hard-hitting, intense and beautifully crafted.

Over the last three years, viewers have followed Katniss’ journey from an ordinary resident of District 12 to the reluctant leader of a rebellion. Though a war wages in Panem, it’s far from the only battle the Mockingjay fights in this film.

The final installment of The Hunger Games traces the Districts’ uprising against their oppressive society. But the rebels’ attempt to take down The Capitol proves harder than they could’ve imagined, as President Snow unleashes his deadliest weapons on them. As Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) becomes the face of a rebellion she unwittingly incited, she must also come to terms with a now-brainwashed Peeta’s (Josh Hutcherson) hatred for her. The worst part? She knows that some of his hostility might just be warranted.

Like its predecessors, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 stays true to its source material. This works for and against the film, since Mockingjay was arguably the weakest book in the trilogy. Though the book failed to live up to the first two parts, it was still a gritty and realistic portrayal of the perils of war. Fortunately, Mockingjay – Part 2 is just as grim and hard-hitting as you’d expect. The film beautifully depicts the hard reality of war on an individual and a universal level.

A large part of the reason behind this is Jennifer Lawrence’s stellar depiction of Katniss Everdeen. Though she has played the character before, it’s safe to say that there’s a whole new depth to her performance this time around. She is also supported by a cast that is at least as good as her. Jena Malone, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer, Elden Henson, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks make lasting impressions in the film. Mockingjay – Part 2 also serves as the perfect swansong for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Our only complaint with the casting? The film doesn’t feature nearly enough of the leading men – Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.

There’s no doubt that the actors do a spectacular job, and their performances are set against a backdrop that is just as magnificent. As the rebels make their way through the districts and into The Capitol, we see breathtakingly beautiful sights – some destroyed, others about to be. Though a few scenes are a tad over the top, director Francis Lawrence strikes the right balance between fiction and reality, bringing Panem to life just as readers would’ve imagined.

All things considered, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is a befitting finale for a well-made series. Though it does have a few flaws, they are easy to ignore in an otherwise remarkable film. Moreover, it actually improves upon certain aspects of the book. And that’s not something we see everyday, is it?

Why You Should Watch This Movie:
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is hard-hitting, intense and beautifully crafted. The film features exemplary acting by a stellar cast, along with stunning VFX and a riveting plot. If you’re a fan of the series, you can’t afford to miss the gripping conclusion!