The Hunger Games was never about The Hunger Games. The first two films and books set the foundation, and one or the other may ultimately emerge as a favorite. It is in Mockingjay, however, that we are able to get to the heart of the series and what it’s exploring: war, rebellion, politics, greed, the dangerous edge of idealism, and, ultimately, human nature. That may sound a bit hyperbolic, given that we’re talking about a young adult series. As someone who appreciates both Suzanne Collins’ books and what director Francis Lawrence, and Gary Ross before him, have brought to the cinematic adaptations, I find that it’s those fundamental investigations that elevate this fable beyond what may have otherwise been just a clever gimmick. This isn’t meant to overstate the matter, it’s just to say that The Hunger Games is very good at being what it is: a worthy YA franchise.