The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Everyone hungers for something.

Action Romance Drama
157 min     7.304     2023     USA


64 years before he becomes the tyrannical president of Panem, Coriolanus Snow sees a chance for a change in fortunes when he mentors Lucy Gray Baird, the female tribute from District 12.


CinemaSerf wrote:
I couldn't help wondering if Francis Lawrence had just asked for that "Tom fella..." "You know..." The casting director didn't realise he meant that "Tom fella" from "Harry Potter" and got Tom Blyth instead. There's an uncanny resemblance with the blonde floppy hair and the rather linear facial expressions. Indeed, despite a promising (if frustrating) shower scene at the top of the film, Blyth ("Coryo") is really what drags this otherwise quite decent action adventure film down. Rachel Zegler, on the other hand, is full of enthusiasm as her "Lucy Gray" character is selected to fight for District 12 in the "Hunger Games". Meantime, "Dean Highbottom" (the infrequently used Peter Dinklage) has come up with a way to spike the dwindling television ratings. He has decided to allocate one of his top students to mentor each of the captives. Yep - "Coryo" is put with "Lucy Gray". A bit of sabotage changes the nature of the game and gradually our hero starts to wonder if he is on the right side - especially when he becomes a little too emotionally involved with his protégé and attracts the enmity of his own erstwhile mentor. Luckily, the whole scenario is being overseen by the hammily menacing "Volumnia Gaul" (Viola Davis) who is clearly having a ball with industrial scale make up and a barrel of genetically modified snakes. The last twenty minutes smacks a little too much of sequel building, but this film has plenty of action and intrigue, loads of back-stabbing and just a little moralising. Zegler delivers a few folky style ballads confidently and generally does a lively enough job keeping it quite a bit better than I was expecting. It needs a cinema, though - the grand scale effects and photography work best that way. On the television it will probably just come across as a bit derivative.
austinmgray wrote:
one of the best installments to the Hunger Games series. it’s definitely the darkest and most political entry to the saga. act III could have been more fleshed out, but it doesn’t detract from the story the film is telling. act III was the most compelling segments in aspects of Coriolanus Snow’s villain origins. if you're a fan of political dramas or a character study or just a huge fan of the Hunger Games series, this is the film for you. excellent casting, excellent music, and deliciously evil performances.