The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes doesn't sing or slither like it should.
For those living under a rock, The Hunger Games is a story set in the future where people battle publicly to the death in an arena. The original novels by Suzanne Collins were made into very successful films, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, split into two parts.
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is set 64 years before the first novel and follows the journey of Coriolanus Snow who mentors a new competitor named Lucy Gray Baird to make money for his education.
Ballad is a big-budget, beautifully shot film with some outstanding costumes. The script is the problem. The concept seems written by a fifth grader and by the end, even the most loyal of fans will be ready to leave the theater as quickly as possible. The exhaustive and unnecessary running time of 157 minutes has the storyline separated by chapters similar to the author's previous endeavors. Chapter three could have been told in five minutes but is instead dragged out to a bitter end. Many of the final plot points are so predictable that somehow this snake moves even slower.