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Movie Review: Hunger Games – Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

This is a prequel to the earlier Hunger Games films that sets up the rise of Coriolanus Snow who eventually becomes the leader of Panem. In this story, the games have been going for 10 years but have started to fall out of favour. Coriolanus is tasked with helping resurrect their reputation and in doing so falls for a beautiful and talented tribute. 

Press play to watch my review:

Boy oh Boy this movie is a mess! The plot is inconsistent and full of deeply unnecessary and overly melodramatic moments.

None of the characters are particularly likeable, and that includes the one’s we are supposed to root for. 

The soundtrack is great and Rachel Zegler’s singing is incredible, but the story seems so discordant and riddled with cliche that the dramatic moments lose all sense of mystery or excitement.

The first 45 minutes of this film has a glacial pace and across most of it the story is tedious. Some of the characters who could have been seriously funny or sinister were actually presented as parody which is a shame since many in the cast are very experienced actors.  

The funniest moment in the entire film was when Jason Schwartzman’s Lucky Flickerman describes one of the tribute characters as ‘tuberculosis on legs’. Yes it was funny, but that was virtually the only amusing moment in the film.  

In the final hour there was probably about 20 minutes where I thought it had finally found it’s feet and had some palpable tension and interesting story-telling.But ultimately, at almost two hours forty minutes, this movie was way too long. 

So how did I score it?

Acting  6 /10

Story/Script 4 /10

Cinematography    7 /10

Set/Costumes 7 /10

Entertainment value 4 /10

That gives Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes an average score of   5.6 / 10

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HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES 

Starring:   Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrės Rivera, Jason Schwartzman, Viola Davis

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Duration: 157 Minutes

Open in New Zealand – 16 November 2023

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