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The Top 5 Reasons I’m Thankful For the Release of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

November 18th through the 20th was like an extended Reaping Day for all fans of The Hunger Games as they battled it out for tickets (if you didn’t buy in advance) and then watched as their favorite movies came to an end. The saga came to an epic conclusion with intense action, incredible acting performances, a climactic conclusion, and an epilogue that rivaled the film version of Harry Potter’s 19 years later. I was lucky enough to go to my third Hunger Games marathon/double feature last Wednesday, and now, in the spirit of Thanksgiving (which is slightly ironic considering the people in the movie have been starving for nearly a century) I would like to share the top 5 reasons I am thankful for the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.

I will try to refrain from spoiling anything for those of you waiting until Thanksgiving break to see the movie, but I mean, it is a book—a book that was published in 2010. 

1. Giving Finnick a proper send off.

I won’t say what happens to Finnick O’Dair, just that he departs the series in the final film before the ending. The film, however, gave Finnick a much better send off than the books.  Seriously, if you blink while reading the books, you will not know what happens and you will have to reread it about ten times. In Mockingjay Part 2, Finnick is given a full 3-5-minute final scene that demonstrates the courage, strength, fighting abilities and grace that we got a peek of in Catching Fire. Bravo, Francis Lawrence and Sam Claflin.

2. The greatest press tour in the history of press tours.

Jennifer Lawrence attacking Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth holding Jennifer’s purse while wearing a Panda hat, Jennifer falling twice in one night, etc.:

And, of course, the premiere of the infomercial for “Come Dance With Us:”

3. The greatest moment in Jennifer Lawrence’s career so far (at least on screen).

Yes, Jennifer Lawrence has had amazing moments in her career. At 25 years old, she has won 2 Golden Globes, 2 SAG Awards, a BAFTA, and an Oscar (with two other nominations, as well). She’s had iconic moments, lines, and roles:

But one of her best scenes comes in Mockingjay Part 2 when acting only opposite a cat (which wasn’t even there for much of the filming). 

The scene is incredible and heartbreaking, and it is truly one of the most phenomenal parts of the movie.

4. An epilogue that no one can complain about.

So that I don’t spoil anything, I won’t post any pictures or share any of the content of Mockingjay’s epilogue. I will, however, compare it to the epilogue of Harry Potter (which, if you haven’t seen it or read it by now, then it’s no one’s fault but your own). The infamous 19 years later moment from Harry Potter is magical in the books—it wraps everything up so perfectly. Many fans, however, were extremely unhappy with the ending in the movie. Nothing was changed, content wise, but the filmmakers and the actors do admit that the process was difficult and that not a lot of time was used to film the scene or create the look for the actors (clearly, the make up and prosthetics were not the greatest):

Harry Potter had a larger challenge than Hunger Games, as Hunger Games does not have such a specific passage of time, but the end result of the Mockingjay epilogue is beautiful and will make any fan’s heart melt.

5. The return of Josh Hutcherson & the real rise of Liam Hemsworth.

Everyone who saw Mockingjay Part 1 can attest to the fact that Josh Hutcherson was absolutely superb as tortured and crazy Peeta, whose mind had been hijacked by President Snow and The Capitol. Yet, in a 2 hour and 30-minute film, one of the film’s major stars only appeared in maybe 20 minutes (and that’s an exaggeration). Hutcherson delivers an incredible performance and does not stray from the books once. The “real or not real scenes” will give you so many feels you won’t know what to do with yourself:

Liam Hemsworth is front and center once again for real this time (Mockingjay Part 1 was just the beginning of Gale’s main role in the series, and he becomes a more important character in Part 2), as Gale becomes a major player in the District 13 army, and somehow is able to make me love and hate Gale all at once. Which apparently, is what you’re supposed to feel, though I was one of those weird people who was team Gale when I first read the books (that changed rather quickly):

Josh and Liam finally share a scene together, and, hopefully, more people will give them the credit they deserve this time around (they tend to be pushed to the back by all of the other famous names).

I wish I could give a more detailed review of Mockingjay Part 2 (I would love to talk about that one death we all knew was coming, and that I was so excited to see because I am extremely indifferent towards that character) but I don’t want to be responsible for ruining the experience for everyone. All I can say is: go see it now. It’s one of the greatest endings to a film series you will ever see.  

Photo Credit: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9, Image 10, Image 11, Image 12

I just transferred to UCF, where I'm currently a sophomore.  I'm originally from a small town in Connecticut; no one will know the name even if I write it out.  I am officially (as of about two days from this point) a political science major after trying out various different majors over the past year and a half.  These majors included psychology, accounting, and a brief, two hour period where she identified as a anthropology major for who knows what reason (I despise science almost as much as I despise Tom Cruise and Taylor Swift--I know what you're thinking, what teenage girl hates Tom Cruise?).  While I still don't know what I am going to do in the future, I do have a lot of transferrable skills--a term I learned in my 3 months as an accounting major.  I'm a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (and if you're shocked, I know, I've heard it from every single person I have ever had a conversation with), a former competitive swimmer, an expert binge-watcher, and an amateur baker/cat whisperer.  I hope to move back to New York one day, but I hate spending money more than I hate the drivers down South.  I spend all of my free time either at work, where people think I'm an animal trainer because of my uniform but I'm actually just a hostess, or in bed watching Disney Channel shows on Netflix.  Along with making a major life decision by choosing a major, I also recently upgraded to ABC comedies on Netflix but only occasionally. 
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