NOTE: SPOILERS AHEAD
When the credits rolled, I turned to my friends and I made a statement.
"This is the last serious war movie I will ever see in a theater."
And I mean it.
Mockingjay Part II is a serious reminder of the horrors of war and the horrible devices that humans invent for the sole purpose of killing one another. True, we don't have ceiling lights that incinerate people or oceans of black oil that will freeze us solid. But they're close representations of the things that we do have.
After watching it, I'm done with serious depictions of war in movies. I'll continue to do my reading, but I don't want to see it. I spent years playing Call of Duty, I've seen Band of Brothers, and I can tell you right now that I can't do it anymore.
A terrible irony is that Katniss often has to use her weapons to kill her allies. She uses an explosive arrow beneath the Capital to take out a fellow soldier right before those sewer mutants eat her. She drops a bomb onto Finnick to "save him" from a similar fate.
(Side-Note: Watching those sewer scenes took me right back to the time I watched Alien. You can really tell that the filmmakers used that movie for inspiration, especially since they redesigned the sewer creatures to look like the alien. For my younger readers: please don't watch Alien unless your parents give you permission. Those of you who view it, you won't sleep well for a month because it is the scariest movie ever made. I was 15 when I first saw it and I was terrified of the dark for at least 4 weeks afterwards.)
Another sad truth--as one of my friends pointed out--is that Katniss's attacks in the Capital had absolutely no effect on the overall outcome of the final battle. By the time she reaches Snow's mansion, she's lost the majority of her allies and in the end, the full force of the rebels is what causes the surrender. She really had no impact on the final battle at all, except to cause the deaths of her friends along the way when she decided to act on her own.
Mockingjay Part II is a very meaningful film. Any work of art that really, truly moves your emotions is a phenomenal one. This one did its job.
It reminded me that violence is our worst enemy and that even when you think your act of war may be helping the future, you're ruining so many other little futures with every gunshot and every bomb strike.
Thankfully, Suzanne Collins kept things real and made sure that Katniss carries her PTSD with her for the rest of her life. I think too many stories leave that part out.
In the end, I'll always recommend the books and I'm sure that millions will continue to watch the movies. For those of you who do, may the odds be ever in your favor.