MOVIES

Hunger Games Prequel’s Rotten Tomatoes Score Is A Series First

While it’s still early days, it is pretty disappointing to see that “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” isn’t as critically compelling as the “Mockingjay” duology, widely considered to be the least interesting additions to the “Hunger Games” franchise. The prequel fails to reach the same heights as the first “Hunger Games” and its sequel, “Catching Fire,” which hold 84% and 90% Rotten Tomatoes scores, respectively.

Still, the flick is rated fresh, which means that it’s at least sort of on par with previous entries. For what it’s worth, the film does have its champions who think it’s an interesting addition to the franchise. Looper critic Alistair Ryder was a fan of “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” awarding it a solid 8/10. Ryder was particularly impressed with the prequel’s engaging performances and narrative themes, describing the picture as “one of the more radical franchise blockbusters to have emerged in quite some time.” 

Collider’s Ross Bonaime largely agreed with this sentiment, calling the prequel “the most engrossing film in the series.”

Some critics, like IndieWire’s David Ehrlich, were impressed with the film’s engrossing performances, particularly Rachel Zegler’s stint as Lucy Gray Baird. “Zegler is absolutely captivating in a ‘Wild Rose’-coded performance that’s equal part Southern pluck and wide-eyed terror … Zegler knows how to play nuance big enough for the back of the room to read it all over her face,” the critic wrote. 

Ultimately, “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” looks like an absolute winner for fans of the franchise, but some critics just don’t care to explore the rest of the “Hunger Games” timeline.

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