Review: ‘Hunger Games’ conclusion leaves little to feast on

Story highlights

New "Hunger Games" movie is "pervasively grim," says Todd McCarthy

Many stars get little to do; best moments feature Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland

Lawrence remains series' saving grace

CNN  — 

“It gets a little tedious after all these years,” admits Katniss Everdeen about her life’s obligations in her final line of dialogue after 547 accumulated minutes of “The Hunger Games” films. It’s hard not to agree with her, nor to imagine that there are too many people – Jennifer Lawrence included – who will be sorry to see this overdrawn series end.

Not too many, that is, except for the folks at Lionsgate, who have tallied $2.315 billion in worldwide box-office grosses from their three previous adaptations of Suzanne Collins’ blockbuster book trilogy and can count on raking in another $800 million, give or take, from this pervasively grim final edition to the series. But this cash cow is done.

How the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise changed Hollywood

What started off onscreen as a lush, outdoorsy, futuristic gladiatorial adventure has, to close things out, become a dark, often stifling tale of rebel insurrection that takes place largely underground or in dangerous urban ruins. Nominally fueled by accelerating anticipation of the long-awaited showdown between Katniss and nefarious President Snow (Donald Sutherland), “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” accentuates the weariness of the original insurgents and wariness between the archer warrior and rebel leader Coin (Julianne Moore), who is far ahead of her cohorts in imagining a post-Snow Panem nation.