With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2: Rise of the colons on the horizon and getting ever closer, I think that it's a good time for me to give the film industry a little telling off for this trend of splitting films in two. It's becoming more common now, with Divergent, Avengers: Infinity War, Justice League and the aforementioned Hunger Games pulling this card on us. So naturally I figured I'd weigh in on the subject, it being the point of this website and all.
Let's cut to the chase, splitting films into multiple parts isn't an inherently bad idea, franchises like Lord of the Rings are testament to that. But what is a bad idea is taking a single, streamlined narrative that wasn't written as an episodic story and cutting it in half in order to make more money out of it. What it leads to is two films that really don't work on their own merits. The first of which holds little to no tension because you know that the second and third acts of the film (where all the actually important story advancements and main character beats happen) are being withheld to suck money out of your back pocket. It wouldn't even be so bad if the gap between parts was so abhorrently long, with the standard being to wait twelve months in order to be able to see the second half of a film that you already paid full price for.
Look, it could work when it comes to Infinity War due to the fact that they're writing a new story rather than directly adapting a book, and you can argue that a story like that deserves two films to deliver the epic story that the Avengers has been building to. But it's still going to be a half-hearted experience because while watching part one, the thought that a part two has to come afterwards taints the experience I'm having. And isn't film all about the experience? Imagine if you went to a bakers and saw that a cake from there cost you $5. So you pointed at a cake you liked the look of and order it, only to find that you have to pay $5 for half of the cake that's been stretched to cover the same surface area, and you'd get the other half next month, after paying another fiver. I know I'd go find another bakers, because that's a rip-off.
Creating two-part stories isn't inherently bad. Hell, it isn't even new; ever heard of a sequel? Yeah, some of them are great, because they stand on their own merits, but that's the point: two part films don't hold up on their own. If it has part x tagged on at the end then you're being cheated out of a full cinematic experience that you were promised when you bought a cinema ticket. This isn't a problem that's going away either folks. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows made gargantuan amounts of money and Mockingjay Part 1 was the most successful of the series. The fact that so many studios are doing it is proof that it's now a standard commercial tactic, but it's still one that's harming the blockbuster landscape.
This may not be the biggest problem that film has right now, but it is one that threatens to grow into something commonplace across the industry and evolve into something worse, where studios split films into more and more segments while paying full price for each. So do something about it. Stop watching two-part films in the cinema, or at least let the world know you disapprove. Unless you don't, in which case you can say why down below. Just brace yourself for my wrath if you do that.