Australian Council on Children and the Media

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

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Not suitable under 13; not recommended 13-15 (Very disturbing themes and scenes; Violence)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
  • a review of Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 November 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence, and very disturbing scenes and themes
Children 13 to 15 Not recommended due to violence, and very disturbing scenes and themes
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes, violence and horror sequence
Length 137 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 takes up where Part 1 left off. The brain-washed Peeta Melark (Josh Hutcherson) is held captive by rebel forces after failing in his attempt to kill Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawence).

Unable to believe that Peeta will ever recover, Katniss offers her services to President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore). She is assigned to a special ops team making propaganda films as the resistance forces march on the Capitol.  Included in the special ops team are Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), and Finnick Odar (Sam Clafin).

While pretending to be committed to making propaganda films, Katniss has her own ideas on how to stop the violence, including making her way to President Snow’s mansion in order to assassinate him. However, before Katniss can reach Snow, both she and her team must make their way past all manner of perilous traps, horrors and dangers.

At the cost of great personal loss, Katniss comes to the realisation that both sides are as corrupt as each other and once again takes matters into her own hands to set things straight.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Oppression and rebellion; extremism; self-sacrifice; brainwashing and torture; death of a family member; deaths of children

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains intense sequences of violence including multiple violent deaths, some which are depicted in a gruesome manner. The film includes some horror related violence, the death of a family member, deaths of children, and executions. Examples include:

  • In one scene we see a man restrained by straps on a hospital bed. He has scarred eyebrows and bloodshot eyes. When a teen girl enters the man’s room he immediately become angry and violent, shouting at her threatening to kill her older sister whom he calls a “monster”.  
  • In one scene rocket fire explodes a tower which collapse on top of a group of soldiers killing them.
  • Soldiers storm a train as civilian families disembark. A shot is fired and we see a civilian man holding a gun to the head of a woman and threatening to shoot her. The hostage tells the man to shoot her but he drops his weapon, at which point a second gunman fires his automatic weapon at the woman’s chest and she falls to the ground. The soldiers then open fire on the civilians.
  • At a dinner a man collapses on the dinner table, dead from poisoning, while the other dinner guests look on without comment.
  • A troop of rebel soldiers are given suicide pills.
  • A booby trap results in machine gun fire hailing the rebel soldiers in a shower of bullets, while explosions and flames engulf the area; one rebel is killed by gun fire and dies with his eyes open. A second booby trap triggers a series of high tension wires and a tidal wave of toxic sludge that drowns one rebel, suspending his body in a web of wires above a fountain.
  • A couple of scenes depict dozens of demon-like creatures attacking a group of rebel soldiers. The rebel soldiers scream out in fear as they are pulled down and we see one soldier bitten in the throat and hear crunching sounds. The creatures are shot by gunfire, flame throwers and arrows. One is impaled through the chest with a crossbow while another is impaled through the chest with a spear. These are gruesome images.
  • We see one soldier pulled down by a large group of creatures and hear crunching sounds inferring that he is being eaten. A female soldier throws a bomb into the group and it explodes in a wall of flame killing both the soldier and demons. The woman says that throwing the bomb was an act of mercy. 
  • In a scene depicting urban warfare we see army planes firing into streets crowded with families of panicked and screaming civilians. Tanks fire into the crowd and we see men, women and children falling to the ground.
  • In one scene we hear a man tell how he is not above killing children, but that he only kills for a reason.        
  • A man who is about to be executed is tied to a stone pillar. A woman stands in front of the man and raises her bow as if to shoot him but at the last second she turns her bow towards a woman standing on a platform and shoots her through the heart. The dead woman lies on the platform with blood dripping from her mouth and pooling on the ground.  
  • Hundreds of families stand in front of palace gates and a plane drop dozens of small parachutes with boxes attached. As children reach up to catch the boxes, the boxes explode in a shower of smoke debris. When the smoke clears we see people carrying dead and wounded children in their arms before a second large explosion kills yet more people; a young girl is vaporised in the blast. The explosion hurls one woman across the ground to land on her back with her clothes on fire. In the next scene dead children and adults are laid out in piles.       

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there is much in this film to scare and disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Dozens of demon-like creatures which are naked without any sexual characteristics, have pale grey skin, are eyeless, have mouths full of sharp pointy teeth and make animal-like growling sounds; these creature appear to be straight out of a horror film and have a very scary and disturbing appearance.     
  • In several scenes we see a man coughing up blood into a handkerchief.  
  • There are a number of disturbing scenes of injured people. When Katniss’ neck brace is removed at the beginning of the film, there is dark bruising covering her neck and when she attempts to speak only barely audible croaks can be heard. In other scenes we see we see an unconscious woman being treated for burns to her throat and hands, and a man treated for a deep wound on his neck.
  • The face of one of the characters in the film has been surgically altered and tattooed to appear lion-like; we hear that it was done to the person as a form of retribution. 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also very likely to be disturbed by the above-mentioned violent and scary scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by many of the above-mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Product placement

None of concern in the film, but associated merchandise being marketed.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • After a young woman kisses a young man on the lips the man tells the woman that it was like kissing someone when they’re drunk.
  • In reference to two young men being in love with the same woman, one young man says to a second young man, “The way she kissed you, she never kissed me like that”.

 

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A young woman kisses a young man on the lips for several seconds.
  • A young woman gets into the bed of a young man. (both are fully clothed). He asks her if she loves him for real, she says she does and the pair fall asleep. The film jumps forward several years and we see the same man and woman - the woman cuddling a baby and the man playing with a toddler.
  • A lead female character in the film wears a form-fitting body suit through most of the film.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Social drinking by adults at a dinner party
  • A man dies during a dinner party after being poisoned.
  • A young woman pulls a morphine IV from another woman’s arm and inserts it into her own arm, saying that she needs the morphine to survive. In a later scene the same woman says that she is about to steal painkiller.
  • A man talks about being tortured by being given hallucinogenic drugs.
  • Soldiers are given suicide pills.      

 

Coarse language

There is occasional mild name calling. Examples include:

  • monster; stupid; treacherous girl; crazy

In a nutshell

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the fourth and final film in this series, is a fantasy action film based on young adult fiction. The film is likely to attract teens and some younger children but is not suitable for children under 13 and not recommended for younger teens. Parents should note that this film is more violent and emotionally intense than previous Hunger Games films. It deals with disturbing themes, and contains gruesome deaths and several scenes depicting horror-like images which are likely to terrify children.

The main message from this movie is that it is sometimes difficult to determine if there is any difference between the “bad” guys and the “good” guys - people with extreme views on either side of a political spectrum can be equally dangerous.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to discuss with older children include:

  • Self-sacrifice for the greater good: most of the rebel fighters were willing to make personal sacrifices, including sacrificing their own lives, if their sacrifice benefited others or assisted the cause.
  • Love: Two of the film’s lead characters share a deep loving, caring and meaningful relationship.   

Parents may also wish to discuss what the film shows about the end justifying the means.  Throughout the film both of the fighting armies are prepared to do whatever is necessary to achieve their aims, including killing innocent men, women and children.

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