IT’S THE GRAND FINALE
I CAN STOP WATCHING THESE MOVIES NOW
When we last left Katniss and Gale they were heading toward President Snow’s dictator mansion alongside a flood of civilians in order to take him out. The scene is quite good at building tension, as they realize too late that there’s a checkpoint set up around the mansion’s grounds and the guards are checking people’s faces.
…Which, you know, they probably should have seen coming. Snow knows full well that Katniss and the other rebel team– all of whom have their faces plastered on wanted signs around the Capital– are infiltrating the city, and they know that he knows since he sent out a broadcast announcing Katniss’ death mere minutes after it was supposed to have happened. Given that Katniss is probably the most infamous person in the world right now, going on this mission was a horrendously bad idea.
But before they can be caught a gigantic horde of rebel soldiers appears behind the civilian column and starts firing guns off everywhere. Can they turn invisible or something? How did the Capital soldiers not see them coming? Anyway, there’s a big explosion and Gale gets nabbed by soldiers.
On the other hand, check out J-Law rocking the fuck out of that coat with the giant flappity hood.
So here’s a pertinent question: Katniss is now sandwiched between a chaotic rebel assault that doesn’t even know she’s still alive and the Capital forces, which will shoot her on sight. Why is she still trying to assassinate Snow? The rebels are literally at the gates of his mansion, there is zero chance that he’s getting out of this alive unless he’s already fled, in which case she’s not going to be able to kill him either. She probably only has to wait for like half an hour and the rebels will do her job for her.
This drains all tension from the conflict. I think the movie is trying to insinuate that the Capital could somehow rally and bounce back if Snow isn’t taken out, but that’s simply not the case. No country in history has ever reached this point in a war and managed to fight their way back. This isn’t a siege of Stalingrad situation, because the Capital has lost all of its other territory, and they have no allies who can come and help them. As soon as the rebels took District 2, the war was basically over.
(Of course Snow could still decide to go out in a spiteful blaze of glory by launching all those nukes he supposedly has, but the movie seems to have forgotten about them)
Anyway, an announcement goes out telling the panicking civilians to send their children forward, and the mansion gates will be opened for them first. I think this is meant to be a last-ditch effort by Snow and friends to halt the rebel advance by using the kids as a human shield, but why do they think that’s going to work? Even if it did, what was their plan beyond that? As I said above, they’re completely surrounded. Are they going to sit in the mansion until they all starve to death? Are they just doing this as a middle finger to the rebels?
This leads into what’s supposed to be the big emotional gut-punch of the movie, where a ship bearing the Capital insignia flies overhead and drops a load of those present things that the Tributes receive goodies in during the Games. But these presents do not contain goodies– they contain BOMBS. Which BLOW UP ALL THE CHILDREN.
Yes. Exploding presents.
The stupidest part of all of this is coming up in a second, but I want to address something else first. We’re going to find out later that this was actually a false flag operation orchestrated by Coin, which begs the obvious question: why didn’t the rebels just bomb the mansion, which is like 100 meters away? In fact, why did they even bother sending in ground troops if they have this level of air superiority? They could have just blown Snow and his government to hell and been done with it.
But anyway, a bunch of medics run in to help the children, Prim is among them for reasons that make no sense, a second wave of explosives goes off (remember Gale discussing this strategy at the start of the movie?) and she gets blown up. I say it makes no sense because Prim is like thirteen and has been depicted in every scene up until this point as basically a junior assistant nurse; what the hell is she doing on the frontlines? Real armies have combat medics– soldiers with specialised training, who can fight enemy combatants as well as perform first aid if the need arises. They don’t send teenage nurses into battlefields, for obvious reasons.
The whole point of this is that Prim had to die, and it had to look like Snow’s fault but actually be Coin’s fault so there can be a big third-act twisteroo, and I guess Suzanne Collins and the movie’s screenwriters couldn’t think of any more plausible way for that to happen.
“Girl on fire.” Do you see.
How many serious injuries has Katniss had? She’s been injected with toxic bee venom, electrocuted, strangled, shot and now blown up. That’s quite a list.
In the aftermath she’s informed that the war ended more or less immediately after the bomb attack, with the rebels waltzing into the palace unopposed as the guards crumbled upon witnessing some of their own children being killed in the explosions.
This is a nice shot.
For some reason Katniss movies into Snow’s mansion (I am extremely confused by this. Was it explained in the book?). Even more baffling is the fact that the rebels are apparently keeping Snow locked up in the greenhouse out back. Yeah, I… I got nothing. This is all so wierd, I honestly thought it was a dream sequence or something.
Snow reveals that Coin pulled off the bombing attack as a way to discredit Snow and cause all remaining resistance in the Capital to collapse, and also that Coin is a evil-badlady who’s just going to take his place.
There’s some drama between Gale and Katniss over the bomb attack but fucking whatever, don’t care. Katniss goes to a meeting between Coin and the surviving Hunger Games victors. She declares herself interim president until things have calmed down enough for elections, which the other characters all seem to think is massively sinister even though that’s pretty standard in these sorts of scenarios– most revolutions or military occupations, even the relatively “benevolent” ones, will have a transitionary period of martial law while peace is restored and society recovers from the fighting.
I mean yes, in this case when Coin says “interim” she actually means “permanent”, but apart from Katniss the characters have no way of knowing that, and even Katniss only has Snow’s word to go on.
Coin moves onto the next item on the dictator agenda: they’re going to execute Snow and tons of other Capital officials are also on the chopping block, but in order to sate the rebel’s thirst for revenge why not round up some of Capital children and make them fight to the death in a gladiator arena? A sort of Hunger Game, if you will?
I… what? Why is Coin suggesting this? Does she actually believe her own reasoning? She must, because other motivation could there possibly be besides being evil? And if she actually thinks this strategy is for the best, why not select the contestants from among the adults who have actually been convicted of crimes?
I mean come on, the Hunger Games is what directly led to the rebels overthrowing the Capital; this is obviously a terrible idea.
Anyway Coin puts it up to a vote by the remaining victors (I assume as a test to see who’s loyal to her) and Katniss votes yes, on the condition that she gets to personally kill Snow.
I sense a CLEVER RUSE at play. Well done, Katniss.
This shot is the most anime thing I’ve ever seen in a Hollywood movie. Look at that fucking outfit.
Yeah so Katniss shoots Coin instead. She’s about to kill herself with a poison pellet she had hidden in her outfit, but Peeta stops her. The crowd surges forward and beats Snow to death.
There is still a disturbingly long time left in the movie.
In the aftermath Haymitch delivers some exposition: there’s going to be an election and the expected winner (Cool Rebel Leader Lady) will pardon Katniss for shooting Coin. So wait, did all of the other rebel generals totally want to take Coin out as well? Then why didn’t they? Or just demand that she step down? She had no power without their loyalty. This feels like such a cop-out.
Katniss goes back home and flips out at Prim’s cat in a way that I think is supposed to be heart-breaking but is instead unintentionally hilarious, an indeterminate amount of time passes, Peeta shows up and is like “hey”, THE MOVIE STILL ISN’T OVER WHY ISN’T THE MOVIE OVER
Katniss goes into Peeta’s room and says she loves him or whatever. Okay I know this is the last scene in the book, so that means the movie’s over.
Right, now that we’ve watched every single one of these things, what is there to say about the Hunger Games? I think
ARE YOU SERIOUS
THE MOVIE CUT TO BLACK WHY WOULD YOU KEEP GOING AFTER THAT
Wait, why is there a little kid running around? What’s Katniss holding?
Oh good lord, they’re going for the Harry Potter ending, why would you do that when the original book didn’t have one
And then the movie cuts to black, again.
You know what, I don’t even feel like making any closing remarks, so let’s follow its lead.