Skip to main content

Movie Review: Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon Parts 1 and 2 (2023/2024)

Rebel Moon Part 1: A Child of Fire Poster

f you've ever wanted to see quasi-early nineteen hundreds, Irish farmers fight off high tech space Nazis, in slow motion, over two feature length films then Rebel Moon Part 1: A Child on Fire (2023) and Rebel Moon Part 2: The Scargiver (2024) could well be the movies you're looking for.

Plot-wise that's really all they're about. There's some sub story inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954) movie, and some other subplot about our main character, Kora (Sofia Boutella), being 'the one' person the Space Nazi's must apprehend for 'reasons' (she's some kind of murderous deserter, I think, but that doesn't seem reason enough to me for our main bad guy, Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein), to be so obsessed with apprehending her). 

I think I've come to the conclusion that writer/director Zack Snyder, while great at casting, spectacle, cinema photography, and visual effects, he just doesn't know how to tell a story to people who aren't inside his head.

By that I mean, he does have strong ideas for high concept stories that could be epic, but he doesn't seem to realize that we're not inside his head. We need a lot more story detail to not just know what's going on but to also, more importantly, care about what's going on.

Rebel Moon could have been something more than forgettable but, aside from the main idea of Space Nazis attacking a farming village on some out of the way moon, I can't tell you any of the character names (without looking them up on IMDB), what any of them were about, or why that droid at the start, Jimmy (Anthony Hopkins), was even in the film as the narrator. Then we don't really see him again until part 2 where he unleashes a few surprises.

It's not even clear why this needed to be a Sci-fi movie. If you took out all the high tech space weapons and ships, and just had an army of regular Nazis (all in the same production and costume design) it would be a World War II film.

The only memorable bit of future tech in the film was Nemesis' (Bae Doona) light swords, largely because they're clearly meant to be this film's version of lightsabers. As cool as they were, why the space Nazis all suddenly used swords when fighting her, and guns for everyone else is mystery?

Rebel Moon Part 2: The Scargiver poster
It's not until the second movie that you really learn anything about our main good guys, outside of Kora. Zack Snyder tries to get us on board with a blatant round table backstory swap, that exists for no reason than to tell us who each person is, and to try and get us to care about them, far too late in the story.

For example, Nemesis is probably the most memorable character of our good guy line up, after Kora, because she has the light swords. We learn almost nothing about her in the first film - she barely has any lines (as far as I recall). 

In part two Zack tries to give her a young farm friend who looks up to her, and we get her backstory at the round table, just prior to the big, final act, battle. There's no time to sit with any of it before the battle is on. Granted a lot of the battle is in slow motion but that's still not enough time to care about her or her young friend.

In the end both of these movies are a collection of recycled ideas as seen through Zack Snyder's lens. There's no really outstanding new ideas, world building, or production design.

Kora is the most developed and memorable of the heroes, and that's not saying much since she gets the most screen time.

The action is fine, with plenty of 90's slow motion, if you like that sort of thing.

I don't dislike these movies but they're just okay. They certainly look good in terms of cinematography, and they had a lot of potential to be something great.

If Zack Snyder would just write his scripts understanding that we don't know anything about these characters that he's probably been living with for years. The journey of getting to know a character is arguably more important than the overall journey of a film. Fights and epic battles don't mean anything if we don't care about who might not make it out.

That's the problem with these two films for me... I just didn't care about anyone. Either I missed the cues that was supposed to draw me in to each character, or they just weren't there in the first place.

That said, Part 1 and 2 are worth a watch. I'm not compelled in any way to rewatch them. Nor am I excited by the prospect of a possible 'directors' cut that keeps in the more 'adults only' scenes (can I get a super cut of just those scenes maybe?).

I do maintain that Zack Snyder is a great film maker with great ideas. The trouble is, he makes the films in his head, filming only the scenes he likes, rather than including scenes that are needed because we're not in his head.

We want to go on the journey but Zack's so far ahead he doesn't realize we can't see him.


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Are Ion Thrusters the Future of Flying Cars? Spoiler - Probably Not But... Hover Boards... Maybe?

Undefined Technologies Ion Propulsion Drone prototype 3D concept image. You may have heard of Ion engines or, more likely, Ion thrusters. NASA uses them on their spacecraft to help maintain a craft's position or to propel them through space.  Upon hearing that you might think they're big, powerful engines, but actually they are not. They work well in the vacuum of space but, once any kind of atmosphere and gravity is involved they'd be hard pressed to launch you off the ground if you strapped four of them to your lawn chair and yelled "up, up, and away!" I am no expert on Ion thrusters - they're basically magic that science has an explanation for. If you want to know the details, The Space Techie website has a layman's explanation .  Build Your Own Ion Thruster Earth based Ion Thrusters work a bit different to their  space based cousins by Ionizing the same air that we breathe to create thrust (an effect known as Ionic-wind ).  While they sound highly soph

I'm Joining the Illuminati Brotherhood By Personal Invitation of Hiltom Rothschild... Wait, What?

How special am I to have finally come of age (53 years young) and am now eligible to participate in building the world alongside other members of the Illuminati Brotherhood... Yes I've received the call by way of an email, which I'm sure is real because I had to translate it from the Dutch language and it was personally written by Hiltom Rothschild, one of the non-existent members of the Rothschild family (or perhaps deep undercover because Google has never heard of them?). A Transcript of the email below: To: etourist From: Illuminati Brotherhood  Subject: Illuminati Broederschap (Illuminati Brotherhood) I am Hiltom Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild family, one of the 13 families of the Illuminati brotherhood. I'm here to let you know that you've come of age and are eligible to participate in building the 🌎 world. It is a calling and a privilege to honor him with pride and gratitude as not everyone will ever be chosen by the LIGHT, many are called but few are ch

Book Review: Brand It Purple by Ashley Knoote-Parke

Ashley Knoote-Parke. Image: Facebook It seems almost redundant to review  Brand It Purple  given you probably won't find a hard copy edition without digging into the second hand market. The book's author and publisher, Ashley Knoote-Parke, seemingly, disappeared off the face of the Earth around about 2015. Which is a story in itself. However, the book is still a very informative guide and, while not specifically targeted at women, many may relate more to a book written by an experienced female entrepreneur. Brand It Purple is a personal marketing and branding guide released in 2009 by then, star on the rise author, Ashley Knoote-Parke, an English born, South African expatriate, who made Adelaide, South Australia her home. There she started her own publishing company releasing a photographic, coffee table book of South Australian sights, along with books showcasing female, then male, entrepreneurs. As well she published 'Brand It Purple'. I came across the b

Skateboarding @50+ Reigniting the Learn Kickflips Battle

My skate coach, Oscar dog. O ne of the things I'd like to do before I get too old to do much more than roll around on a skateboard is relearn kickflips. Not that I ever had them on lock. I maybe landed a flat ground stationary kickflip no more than a handful of times, and I only remember landing one rolling kickflip because I had it on video tape for a second (recording over it because I only had a few Video 8 cassette tapes back in the 90s). I actually had a higher chance of landing a kickflip into a trick, on a curb, than landing just a stationary kickflip. Kickflip to; 50-50, to blunt, backside kickflip to tail, and even kickflipping out of a blunt. None of which I had on lock nor can do currently. Getting back into skateboarding again, after a year's break to let my sore feet heal, I started to try kickflips again and discovered I'm actually closer than ever to landing them. I'm able to commit with both feet staying in the air as the board flips. As opposed to tryin