The most heroic thing about “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” is that Jennifer Lawrence is still formidable. This fourth and final installment of the rabidly successful franchise, based on the Suzanne Collins novels, is more of a dribble than a slam dunk, but Lawrence is still acting away in it as if this represented more just a paycheck.
Not that she gets to show all that she can do as an actress – not by a long shot (or an arrow shot). She’s fiercely glum throughout, as her Katniss Everdeen leads a rebel commando squad into the heart of the Capitol. Her goal: Kill President Snow, played once again by Donald Sutherland with his trademark depraved panache.
Director Francis Lawrence stages the action sequences, both aboveground and underground, with a modicum of flair, and Julianne Moore as rebel leader Coin gives off some sparks – she’s a reformer with a totalitarian streak – but for the most part there is nothing divertingly new or different about this franchise fade-out. When we last see Katniss in an idyllic pastoral tableau, I felt happy for them but even happier for myself. No more sequels. Grade: B- (Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material.)