2.5 out of 5 stars
Having only watched Part 1 a few weeks ago on Netflix thus avoiding the unnecessary year long wait, I must start by saying that there is absolutely no need for the story to be told in 2 films. Greed aside, unfortunately it also hurts the storytelling as many scenes now feel dragged out. Part 1 is basically a first Act padded out with a lot of talk about emotions and motivations, which could have been demonstrated effectively with a few well-chosen words by a more succinct and decent writer. Part 2 has more action and a few set pieces which were well executed but, for me, reminiscent of other films*. The final set piece is the best. It was done with flair, surprisingly innovative and illustrative of the film’s ultimate intentions: showing us the propaganda of war and the futility of it all. Whilst I applaud that, especially for a franchise blockbuster, one, and not two films, would have made it much more impactful and less preachy. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutchison did their best to sell some of the less plausible twists and turns while showing real star quality as well as chemistry but The Return of the King style endings just makes the film feels even longer.
(*If you must know: Wreck It Ralph and The Descent respectively)