The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbrids and Snakes is finally in theatres after receiving mainly positive reviews from early screenings. The devoted fans of the franchise love every moment, praising it for staying faithful to the original source material and for its ensemble of exceptional cast members.
Critics, however, don’t seem to agree that the prequel is as good as the original movies and argue that it has made a major blunder while trying to avoid a mistake that Jennifer Lawrence’s franchise’s finale did. The original trilogy had its finale divided into two parts, which fans and critics hated. And in trying to avoid that very mistake, the prequel seems to have made an even bigger blunder of cramming it all into one long movie instead of dividing it into two well-made movies.
One Major Blunder That The Hunger Games Prequel Has Made
When The Hunger Games finale Mockingjay was released as two parts, fans and critics wrecked no less than havoc by dividing it and making them wait a year unnecessarily. This was a major learning point for the director Francis Lawrence, who expressed (via People) that he regrets dividing the book and wanted to avoid the same mistake with the prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
In trying to make amends and avoid his past mistakes, the director seems to have made a bigger blunder, the blunder of cramming everything from the book into an almost 3-hour-long movie. The book is the longest in the franchise, literally divided into three parts with a clear distinction in the middle.
And to have taken all three equally important, different thematic parts forced into a single movie is too much to call it a simple mistake but rather an absence of better judgment. As much as Mockingjay deserved to be a single movie, TBOSAS just as much deserved to be a two-part movie, one providing a rich backstory to the villain and the other focusing on his inner dilemmas of struggle with love, glory, and revenge.
Even Fans Agree Hunger Games’ Prequel Is Too Long A Tale For One Movie
At two hours and thirty-eight minutes, The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes is a lot to ask of the audience when the last movie was released eight years ago. With the target audience now moved on, a two-hour movie would certainly have been a huge financial gamble. But seeing the incoherent and detail-rich prequel stemming from the longest book in the franchise, even fans agree that the movie deserved to be in two parts.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was ok, I thought it was generally good, until the third act. Like they just tried to cram everything in there. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t save all of that for another movie. It’s almost 3 hours long too. 6.53/10 pic.twitter.com/1C4MSIpqSV
— SUPER-DE-DUPER SAIYAN STEE (@Scordizzy) November 19, 2023
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is a fantastic adaptation of the book.
Like the book, it’s both engaging and slightly overstays its welcome by the end.
It feels too short for two movies, but way too long for one.
Movie peaks at the end of the games. pic.twitter.com/C89R39GVHl
— david the slowpoke #DragIsNotACrime (@Dcuajunco) November 15, 2023
mockingjay did not need to be 2 movies but maybe songbirds and snakes should have
— EJ 击🏴☠️ (@vhsbubbline) November 21, 2023
I enjoyed The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
In my opinion, it should've been 2 movies though.
Coriolanus Snow character should've been better fleshed out. The arc seem to happen too fast considering that the entirety of the 2nd act was dedicated to the 10th Hunger Games.
— Kavil (@KDrmcf) November 21, 2023
I really wish they had made 2 movies for the ballad of songbirds and the snakes omg they really tried to treat too many subjects and time periods at once in this movie 🙁
— 🎀🇵🇸🎀 (@Soleilbxtch) November 19, 2023
I liked the movie ballad of songbirds of snakes but i feel like it would be better if they split it up in 2 movies to get more from the book in it. plus the movie was long but the story still felt a little rushed idk
— amber (@felicitybenoist) November 20, 2023
While the movie isn’t as ‘long’, the pacing, character dilemmas, detail-rich plot, lack of satisfying action, and long monologues made fans feel the movie was too long to be a single one. Even though faithful fans of the franchise are still enjoying it, these flaws are too big to be ignored since the success of the movie majorly rests on new audiences for it has been nearly a decade since the last movie was released.
Fortunately for the movie, the impressive cast and their exceptional performances seem to have saved it from a major fall.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is in theatres now.