In my recent time in Mexico, I watched two big blockbuster movies, Spectre and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part Two, and I felt the need to express my opinions in blog form. Watching blockbusters in Mexico is not different than watching blockbusters in the states. There are seats, a screen, booming sound system, and popcorn. I even ate crappy nachos when I watched Spectre.
Speaking of Spectre, I find Daniel Craig's Bond kind of hot, and it's not just the tight pants. He is so controlled in his expression. Every movement, every look is controlled. He even seems controlled in his fights. At the same time, he seems like he could lose his shit any second, but he doesn't look constipated. How does he pull that off?
In the last film, Skyfall, he lost his boss, Judi Dench, and his new boss is played by Ralph Fiennes (who actually has scenes with dialogue where he gets to act). When a new younger intelligence chief (played by Andrew Scott, who played Moriarity in the Sherlock series) declares a whole new era of surveillance and the double-O unit obsolete, Bond faces a lack of job security. Will he have to put a resume together and possibly freelance? Will he have to cut back on the linen shirts? Will he be able to keep his mobile phone plan?
Fortunately, there is a white European international terrorist with a top secret organization, a cool base, and a white Persian cat (nice touch). Bond and the bad guy (played by Christoph Waltz, of course) have some history, and they get to talk about it. Then, the bad guy straps Bond in a chair to do nasty stuff to him after he tells him he is going to do nasty stuff to him. But that's okay. It's a James Bond movie. A lot of stuff gets blown up and a lot of shots get fired and nonstop action and thrills. Walking out of the theater, I felt exhausted.
Like Spectre, Mockingjay is not a film you just watch. It is a film you experience with lots of booms and rapid editing. Both films might have messages, but both films are also about professional killers. Both Bond and Katniss (played strongly by the great Jennifer Lawrence who carries the film) are slaves to their jobs, but in their worlds, they have no choice. If these heroes have no choice, what does that say about the rest of us?
It's helpful to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One before you see The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part Two, so you will know why Katniss is in a neck brace at the beginning of the film. Jennifer Lawrence also had a neck brace on in American Hustle. Please Hollywood, stop choking Jennifer Lawrence.
Maybe it's better to think of Mockingjay 2 as just a bit of silliness. Sure, you have serious adult characters played by Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, and Philip Seymour Hoffman fighting a war in an imaginary world called Panem (I kept hearing Pan-Am, the airline). And there's action, action, action as Katniss and the rebels storm the capital. But when the rebels talk about going seventy-five blocks to the presidential palace, I hoped they would just take a cab (they took the subway, which led to an extended sequence that reminded me of Aliens).
It all ends with a bang and another bang and lots of bangs. What a physically exhausting movie. Also the characters don't talk to each other. They just make declarations: I'm gonna. . .I'm this. . .You're that. Some characters die, but that's what they're supposed to do. It's all a part of the game. Katniss is trying to get out of the game. I thought of leaving the game, but it was hot and humid outside. The theater's air conditioning was much nicer. And they served vino.