Rebel Moon Part 2 review: A slow-mo sci-fi slog

Rebel Moon: Part 2 – The Scargiver it’s an empty feast. It’s a relentless onslaught of inconsequential explosions, sci-fi tropes and pointless exposition. And yet somehow it’s better than the first film in Zack Snyder’s coveted sci-fi epic franchise for Netflix, Rebel Moon: Part 1 – A Child of Fire. (What do these titles actually mean? Who cares.)

Once all the boring table setting is done, Snyder lets his true talents shine Rebel Moon: Part 2 featuring endless battles filled with slow-motion action and heroic poses. Looks great, just wanted to add one thing. Everything.

Spoilers for Rebel Moon: Part 2.

If you somehow missed the first one Rebel Moon the film is the main setup Star Wars meets Seven Samurai. Sofia Boutella plays Cora, a former elite soldier of an evil empire, who hides in a very unusual farming village, spending her days only planting and harvesting crops. When a group of military personnel kill the village chief and start threatening a young girl, Cora commits murders (in defense!) and leaves the community open to a retaliatory attack.

He spends the first film recruiting potential warriors to defend the village, including a fallen gladiator (Djimoun Hounsou) and a rogue swordsman (Doona Bae). (Their names are Titus and Nemesis, respectively, but since the characters are paper thin, that doesn’t matter.)

Full disclosure: I tried to write a review for the first one Rebel Moon and simply refused in disgust. It was a shockingly boring epic, so much so that it took me days to watch it without falling asleep. In the end, I was left with only a feeling of dread, knowing that there were still two hours Rebel Moon ahead of me.

That’s a bit of a loose definition, but at least I didn’t fall asleep Scargiver. Mostly, this is because the film actually has a sense of momentum and more action. You can turn off your brain and enjoy beautiful pictures, just like Snyder’s Sucker Punch, Justice League and Watchmen adaptation. He’s more of a stylist than a natural storyteller, but sometimes Snyder’s visuals, such as a disorienting montage of our heroes mowing wheat, can be almost poetic.

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It’s a shame that I just didn’t care that much for the movie’s characters or any aspect of its story. James Gunn’s Guardian of the Galaxy trilogy made us fall in love with a group of misfits and dupes with storylines that directly lead to their personal and emotional growth. The crew is inside Rebel Mooninstead, they feel like cardboard cutouts from better movies, and the overall plot feels forced (there’s even a setup for another movie at the end).

Hounsou tries to sell Titus’ pathos with his eyes, but he can only do so much. While Bae’s warrior woman has a cool streak (and has a very compelling flashback), she’s largely wasted when the action really heats up. Then there’s Jimmy the robot, who was introduced briefly in the first film and is voiced by Anthony Hopkins, who stands here for a few minutes. Why? It does not matter. For some reason, this character is important enough to serve as a narrator for both Rebel Moon movies (but it really seems like Snyder just wanted to add gravitas to Hopkins’ voice).

Perhaps the only real saving grace Rebel Moon: Part 2like the first movie, Ed Skrein stars as the scoundrel Atticus Noble. As a sadistic villain, he’s not really anything new, but Skrein’s growing scenery makes the character interesting to watch. Where Darth Vader exudes a sense of calm dread, Skrein’s Noble is playfully chaotic, like the Joker crossed with Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa. Dishonorable Basterds. He just has so much fun being mean – that’s one thing!

Considering how popular the first film was (respectively Snyder and Netflixanyway), we’ll likely see more Rebel Moon down the line. Snyder has previously said he wanted to direct six hours of both films, and recently said. Radio Times wants to extend Rebel Moon a series of four or six films. Somehow it just feels like a threat.

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