Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”Snow lands on top. The long awaited Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, has revived the popular dystopian youth franchise after eight years, with the franchise’s fifth installment taking first place at the global box office. In 2012, the YA film franchise trend reached its peak as die-hard YA fans tried to fill the void following the release of Breakdown: Part 2 and the eagerly awaited one Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Suddenly the film adaptation came out Suzanne Collins‘ popular YA novel series, The hunger Games. One of the last successful dystopian youth adaptations, The hunger Games continues to reign supreme with its powerful portrayal of political control, inequality and survival and critically acclaimed performances Jennifer Lawrence as a heroic protagonist and female homage to Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as the golden-hearted baker’s son and male tribute Peeta Mellark, and Donald Sutherland as the scary head of Hunger Games, President Snow.
However, despite the success of the first and second films, the last two films in the franchise suffered from a waning interest in youth film franchises. In 2014, Mockingjay – Part 1the first part of the series’ epic conclusion, was released in a year saturated with young adult content, including the debut films in the young adult novel adaptations of Different, The labyrinth runnerAnd Vampire Academyafter the publication of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Beautiful creatures, Stephanie Meyer‘S The hostAnd The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones the previous year.
Despite the waning interest in youth film franchises the success of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a testament to the enduring power of The Hunger Games serieswhich is still ahead today, more than a decade after the first film premiered. Without further ado, we present you with a ranking of the films in the series, including: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakesfrom worst to best:
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)
Leaded by Francis Lawrencethe epic conclusion to the series The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 remained largely faithful to the novel. Unfortunately, I also like the novel, Mockingjay – Part 2 did not have much critical success. The last film in the Hunger Games The franchise struggles with fast, disjointed pacing. The last 30 minutes of Part 2 feel particularly dissonant. Important storylines are glossed over, particularly the aftermath of Prim’s (Willow Shields) death, which should have been given more screen time. The main characters, particularly Katniss and Gale (Liam Hemsworth), undergo major character changes that are relatively unexplored. However, there are still great moments at the end of the trilogy, from Katniss’ unexpected arrow that kills Coin to quieter moments between Boggs (Mahershala Ali) and Katniss. However, after the first three films had built up the tension for an epic conclusion, Mockingjay – Part 2 was a slight disappointment.
4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)
How Mockingjay – Part 2the third part of the series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1Directed by Francis Lawrence, came out just as the popularity of the teen film franchise trend was beginning to wane. Despite the success of the first two films in the franchise, there is moderate hype surrounding them Mockingjay – Part 1 was a sign that the clock was ticking on YA dystopia, even one as popular as The hunger Games. Besides that, Mockingjay – Part 1 Despite its flaws, it’s not necessarily a bad film. As with many dystopian young adult book/film series (see: Different, The labyrinth runner), when the third part appeared, The narrative began to move away from the successful formula of the previous films and do more world building (although necessary) on a larger scale. Mockingjay – Part 1 is the first film in the series not to feature the annual Hunger Games, which may have resulted in a decline in interest for some. However, Mockingjay – Part 1 gave us some of the most powerful and harrowing scenes in the entire film series, from the District 8 hospital bombing to the heartbreaking final scene in which an unrecognizable Peeta is tied up and beaten. Jennifer Lawrence gives a moving performance as Katnisscatch fireShe struggles severely with post-traumatic stress disorder and tries to balance her role as a mockingjay with her overwhelming grief over the loss of Peeta.
3. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023)
Directed by the returning Francis Lawrence, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes introduces us to an 18 year old Coriolanus Snow, beautifully played by Tom Blyth. The prequel film stands out for its world-building, delving into the corruption and moral ambiguity of post-war Hunger Games, 64 years before the events of the original trilogy. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes features some of the most compelling performances in the entire franchise, from Blythe’s morally conflicted Snow to Viola Davis‘ crazy game master. Unfortunately, the film falters in the third act, which feels both rushed and narratively disjointed. Through no fault of Blythe’s, who delivers an excellent performance, Snow’s heel turn at the end of the film comes across as jarring and – in the same vein game of Thronesis Daenerys – undeserved. Where The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Ultimately, it fails to lay the foundation for Snow’s moral corruption. The YA genre in general is often heavy-handed when it comes to ambiguity and often lacks the nuance needed for a character as complex as Panem’s future tyrant. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes The film unfortunately falls victim to this, and Snow’s inevitable heel turn simply doesn’t translate as well on screen as it does on the page.
2. The Hunger Games (2012)
Leaded by Gary Ross, The hunger Gamesthe first of Hunger Games franchise was the most anticipated youth adaptation since then Harry Potter And dusk – and it’s safe to say it lived up to the hype. The hunger Games burst onto the stage Crackling tension and sharp performances from a star cast, especially Jennifer Lawrence. Appeared primarily in independent films, The hunger Games made Lawrence a star with her moving, powerful performance as Katniss Everdeen, one of the young adult genre’s bravest and most inspiring heroines. Published in 2012, the same year as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, The hunger Games Nevertheless, the box office rose sharply and proved to be the next big youth series that still stood on its own duskis the massive (if infamous) legacy of youth. From the dazzling, blindingly oppressive kaleidoscope of the Capitol to the breathtaking intensity of the Games, The hunger Games is a triumph for book fans and non-book fans alike.
1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
The second part was directed by the series’ new director, Francis Lawrence. The Hunger Games: Catching Firestands out from the crowd despite the immense success of the first film in the franchise. catch fire introduces some of the series’ most memorable characters, including previous winner and fan favorite Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Johanna (Jena Malone). The game’s stakes have been raised as all returning champions are forced to return and compete to the death once again. With the return of the Champions, the second part of the film delves deeper into the politics of the Games as alliances are secretly formed to ensure Katniss’ survival as a symbol of the rebellion. catch fire also shows how much Katniss reciprocates Peeta’s feelings for her now that she realizes how true and pure she is Good Peeta is to the core. Their unwavering determination to ensure each other’s survival, even though they know it means their own death, shows the evolution of their relationship after surviving the first games. Due to the large number of YA franchises, there are a lot of ships out there, but Katniss and Peeta are probably among the most popularAnd catch fire captures this perfectly.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is now in the cinema. Check out the trailer below: