Tony’s Review: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ & ‘Secret in Their Eyes’

Photo Courtesy: Lionsgate

WEDNESDAY – November 18, 2015 – (Gephardt Daily) ─ The long-awaited final chapter to to “The Hunger Games” saga will be in theaters beginning today and Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman star in the thriller “Secret in Their Eyes.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Rated PG-13

The film wraps up the story, which began in 2012 and has spawned 4 films in the series.

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland and Julianne Moore, the film continues the story as the war escalates. Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” delivers a multifaceted story about what it really takes to win a rebellion. It goes deeper than just a bunch of soldiers with guns as it speaks to political philosophies and how a war can be waged with propaganda, which can be just as effective in toppling a government as bombs and bullets.

Then the realization that just maybe the old saying “Absolute power corrupts, absolutely,” is one mankind’s most truthful proverbs.

Box Office Predictions Say 'Mockingjay Part 2' Will Earn
Photo Courtesy: Lionsgate

Where “Mockingjay Part 2” begins to fall short is in its interpersonal relationships. Katniss’ relationships is the stuff soap operas are made of. The “Do I love Peta or do I love Gale?” question brings the film down to a very pedestrian level. And, although I know its part of the theme in the book, in the film it becomes boring and trite.

Overall, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” is a good film offering well-paced action and special effects sequences and political maneuvering.

It’s not the great finale I believe people are expecting, but it does deliver on its promise to entertain.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” gets B and is rated PG-13.

The Secret in Their Eyes
Starring: Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Directed by: Billy Ray
Rated PG-13

“Secret in Their Eyes” stars Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor as a team of FBI investigators in 2002 assigned to investigate terrorist activity just a year after the events of 9-11.

When they receive notice about a murder of a woman near a mosque, they make the horrific discovery the young woman is the daughter of Julia Roberts’ character, Jess. The man the FBI arrests for the murder is quickly released because he is an informant for the FBI.

Photo Courtesy: STX Entertainment

After 13 years, the suspect who maybe responsible for the murder is tracked down, but has justice been replaced with revenge?

The film is simply a character study and a weak one at that. What could have been a taught and tight thriller, panders to the audience by relying on shop-worn gimmicks but most importantly just refuses to make a connection with the viewer.

“Secret in Their Eyes,” with its stellar cast had all the promise of being extraordinary, but ends up very, very run of the mill.

It gets a C- and is rated PG-13


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