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Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver

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Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver

Like many others, you can safely say that I did not like Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire when I first saw it. Everyone hated it, we are to believe André’s review. Personally, I think that Zack Snyder’s first attempt at his new sci-fi franchise was certainly a misstep, but that it didn’t impress beyond being an insult to the eyes.

It was a slow scene-setter of a movie, peppered with tell, don’t show dialogue, bits of story that felt like they were plucked straight from the Warhammer 40,000 and Dune trees, and action that just felt like battles happening in front you all the time, especially when the movie shows our team coming together.

Few of you are probably expecting much here, but I have to say that I enjoyed Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver much better than part one. As mentioned, Part One is a scene-setter, a film that doesn’t accomplish much in terms of story, meaning The Scargiver gets a lot of the big story beats, action scenes, and more that it feels like the first film is missing. We get to know a lot more about our main characters, including the main character’s backstory, which honestly would have helped a lot in giving the first film an emotional anchor without just throwing in a random abuse scene.

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We pick up where we left off in Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire, with Kora, Gunnar and the gang fleeing the Motherworld forces back to the Veldt. The heroes think they’ve won the day, but don’t see the bar at the bottom of the screen that shows there’s still two hours left in the movie, and get an abrupt awakening when it turns out that Ed Skrein’s Admiral Noble is on his way back to the Veldt to collect grain and Kora’s head.

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And that’s our setup. From there, the plot of the film is very simple, which is to the film’s advantage. There is no need for anything more than these peasants and a handful of heroes defending their new home against the Empire – I mean Motherworld. Since the plot is so simple, we also get to know more about our heroes, and even if they aren’t the deepest characters, it at least gives us a sense of connection to them as we head into the big battle. It also gives a sense of the scale Snyder is thinking about when it comes to the Rebel Mooniverse. It’s a shame really that we’re relegated to a rather bland agricultural planet in this film, because there are plenty of more interesting locations and stories in the background sequences. A movie about a Victorian planet with gryphons, please Mr. Snyder.

While it’s clear that Snyder’s new sci-fi universe has taken a lot from other major IPs, it’s still pretty interesting as a concept. Visually, many of the aliens, planets, and ship designs are intriguing, and I’d like to root for Jimmy the robot, who is voiced by Anthony Hopkins himself. It’s a decent feast for the eyes, and certainly works as the gruesome sci-fi film that fans were hoping for. However, Rebel Moon, in both films, doesn’t quite get away from being boring.

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It’s clear that Snyder and all those working with him have spent a lot of time creating this universe, and when I saw certain moments I began to wonder about certain aspects of this universe, but such an investment from the audience does not exactly rewarded by the film’s final product. Yes, you can wonder about the mother world, Kora, Noble and what lies beneath the superficial knowledge you get about them in the movie, but there’s really no teaser for any of that. What you see is what you get, while fans of any successful genre franchise will always question the meaning of a certain line, moment or event that is referenced and yet to be explored.

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The performances in the film are good, considering that the dialogue does not make much of itself. It’s regular action stuff, really. Tough guys, tough girls, blast random baddies until the snake’s head is lopped off. Speaking of which, I’d like to single out Ed Skrein here, who always stands out as a remarkable villain even with his silly hairdo. I was never bored watching Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver. It’s pretty well paced, though it never really jumps above the low bar of fundamentals.

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver is the movie a 14-year-old me would have loved, for better or for worse. It’s got a lot of action, it’s set in a pretty cool universe, and there’s just enough character moments to remind you that there are people you’re meant to follow. But there’s also not much to keep you invested in terms of the action, and it often feels like an ordinary action feat, when we need a little better than that to make a name for itself as a new contender against the best in sci- fi. Hopefully the hate isn’t as big this time, because I still think the second half is a much better whole.

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