It’s time to return to the miserable, joyless slog that is the final Hunger Games movie.
Our heroes decide to get off the streets and into the gigantic storm drains beneath the Capital. Like all gigantic storm drains in fiction they look identical to (/possibly were filmed in?) Tokyo’s famous flood defence system. Then they get attacked by these… things. They kind of look like mutant Pac Men or something.
Some inconsequential side characters get munched, the rest manage to escape. You know what would have been more effective than Pac Men? SOLDIERS. WITH GUNS. Katniss and her team were caught on camera entering the tunnels, the Capital military knows exactly where they are. It would be trivially easy to slaughter them.
I will say this for the whole sequence, the buildup is pretty tense and has a cool Alien-esque aesthetic. Although once the fighting starts it highlights the irrationality of the fact that Katniss is still using her bow, even in close quarters combat against very fast targets. I don’t care good she is with it, surely a gun would be better. Although that’s not as ridiculous as Finnick (who dies, by the way) using some kind of military combat trident.
The characters immediately escape into a subway where they’re attacked by soldiers (finally), and also have to contend with these lights that make people disintegrate. For some reason, instead of just turning them all on at once and taking out the entire squad instantly, they flick on an off just enough to give our heroes a chance to get through.
This raises a number of important questions. Like why the fuck the Capital has never used this technology before. Why bother with flamethrowers and machine guns and Pac Men and shit when they could have just filled the outskirts of the city with these things, wait for the rebel army to roll in, and then vaporize them all? Hell, why aren’t they mounting these things on tanks? They’d be unstoppable.
This is the sort of case where world building really is important. You can’t just decide willy-nilly that your villains have disintegration rays after showing them using ordinary guns for the rest of the story.
Peeta starts flipping out, so Katniss kisses him to get him moving again (what, no “SNAP OUT OF IT, MAN!”). This causes Gale to achieve a level of broodiness heretofore unseen and the music swells dramatically.
They emerge out into the deserted city streets (where apparently it’s snowing all of a sudden?) and one of the remaining squad members who isn’t a main character says she knows a place where they can hole up.
I was very interested to see if the movie was going to repeat a really jaw-droppingly stupid scene from the book (actually, it’s more like two scenes), and it thankfully doesn’t.
In the source material, the characters escape the flood tunnels via a ladder that leads directly into the closet of one of the apartments above. No, really– there’s a ladder that goes right from someone’s bedroom closet into an underground tunnel. The book makes a vague attempt to explain this, but it comes off as a really, really silly and lazy way to get the characters back into the city in a hurry. Upon exiting the closet they run straight into the apartment’s owner, an ordinary civilian just going about her business, who Katniss immediately murders with absolutely no hesitation or remorse.
I don’t inherently have a problem with the fact that Katniss does this– it’s believable behaviour for a military operation behind enemy lines, particularly as a split-second knee jerk decision– but I kind of want my main character to feel at least a little bit conflicted about it. Katniss doesn’t. We’re told very clearly that she feels nothing. Even worse, the book goes out of its way to portray the woman (in the sentence or so she’s featured before getting an arrow through the heart) as repellent and kind of gross, as though this smooths over any moral complexity inherent in an invading military force murdering an innocent civilian in cold blood to save their own lives.
But as I said, neither of these scenes were featured in the movie. This adaptation is very gritty and solemn, and they’d never dream of putting in anything as ridicu
PFFT HA HA HA HA
In the book it’s mentioned that some people in the Capital gets surgery and tattoos to make themselves look like animals (because they’re all decadent and weird), but since that hasn’t been brought up in the movies before now this character seems to come out of absolutely no where. At least the “what in the absolute Christ” face Jennifer Lawrence does in this scene is spot-on.
Anyway, Tiger McCatface lost her job as a stylist for the Tributes because Snow decided she “wasn’t pretty enough” (once again, Snow is personally responsible for everything bad that happens), so she’s all for the assassination mission. Once they’re in her basement Katniss fesses up and admits that she wasn’t actually on a mission from Coin. Then everyone else reveals that they knew that, and they’re just following her because… they think she’s awesome, I guess?
Peeta and Gale have a heart to heart while they think Katniss is asleep, but it’s love triangle nonsense so I’m not going to go into it in detail. Suddenly, explosions above! The Capital soldiers are shelling rebel forces within the hang on how long is left in this movie? An hour? Are you serious?
God damn it. I need a break before we tackle the rest of this.