Mockingjay - Part 2: Viewing Guide

Image: Mockingjay - Part 2: Viewing Guide

A movie that explores how to live in a broken world.

Who’s it for?

Recommended viewing age: 15+.

Like The Hunger Games books, the movie is aimed at older teenagers. There is a moderate amount of violence in the film. Some scenes may also scare younger viewers.

For uninitiated viewers, we suggest at least watching Part 1 of Mockingjay so you know what’s going on.

What’s it about?

Part 2 brings us to the end of The Hunger Games story as the Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), continues to fight with the rebels of the Districts against the Capital and its cruel leader President Snow (Donald Sutherland). As the battlefront moves toward the city, Katniss and her friends, including love interest Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), have to travel through a labyrinth of deadly traps in order to reach their target, President Snow, and end the civil war. 

What are the big ideas?

Some of the major themes in this movie are:

  • The consequences of greed, hate and oppression
  • The cost of freedom
  • True leadership requires humility

What to think about

Mockingjay Part 2 isn’t shy about its depiction of a war-torn nation and the impact that has on all of its inhabitants.

Once good people are turned heartless toward their enemies—and thousands of innocent civilians—sometimes even children are caught up in the destruction. Yet as the fighting escalates, Katniss grows more and more weary of the death she sees all around her. She sees only one option of ending the war; destroying Snow. Until now she has been used as a symbol for rebel propaganda, but she knows that serious action must be taken, and she is the one to do it. She knows that going into the lion’s den will likely end in her death but that doesn’t matter.

Our own world is much like Panem. We see war all the time on the news, innocent people are oppressed and killed and often it can feel like the human race is doomed to self destruction. Like Katniss though, God saw a way to deal with war, pain and suffering. Jesus, like Katniss behind the battle lines, leaves the security of The Father and comes to us. He sacrifices his own life so that sin can be defeated once for all and that our broken world will see healing when He comes again. When we watch any of The Hunger Games films, we should see Panem as a vision of our own broken world. But take heart, knowing that restoration is coming and the ultimate enemy has been defeated.

…For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” -1 Corinthians 15:52b-54 (NIV)

What we thought

The Hunger Games finds a satisfying conclusion in Mockingjay Part 2. Easily better than the previous two entries in the series, the film's various action sequences maintain the excitement and build to a dramatic final act. However the last third of the film feels largely disappointing. It drags on for a little too long and stops and starts a few times, much like the end of Return of the King. Despite that though, it is an enjoyable film with some great performances by Lawrence and Sutherland. 

3 ½  out of 5

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