8 Big Takeaways from Reviews of Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon
Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire, Zack Snyder’s impending science fiction epic has received negative reviews from critics. It follows Kora as she searches for warriors to help her humble farming moon, Veldt, against the Motherworld empire. It is a space fantasy saga reminiscent of Star Wars and the works of Akira Kurosawa. Part One has a pitiful 26% approval rating as of this writing on Rotten Tomatoes. This is quite near to Sucker Punch, the lowest-rated Zack Snyder movie on the site. Critics have blasted the movie, calling it derivative, artistically bankrupt, and narratively dull. It appears to be developing into yet another controversial picture in director Zack Snyder’s already polarizing canon.
1. Rebel Moon Seems Like A Star Wars Knockoff
The absence of creativity in Part One is a common critique regarding the latest release. Rebel Moon is a supposedly original story that struggles to find its own identity, despite Snyder’s toying with the idea of setting it in the Star Wars universe. TheWrap’s William Bibbiani describes it as a Star Wars knockoff that struggles to find its own identity. Given how much Akira Kurosawa’s films were referenced in the first Star Wars film, Snyder’s concepts for Rebel Moon aren’t wholly original.
2. It Is Primarily a Set Up
A Child of Fire brazenly declares in its ambitious title that it intends to create a franchise. It seems that many have criticized his attempts to establish a larger-than-life story without producing a stand-alone picture. According to Charles Bamseco’s review for The Guardian, “this 134-minute film really only covers the getting-the-gang together phase that most movies in the genre knock out within the first half hour.”
3. Rebel Moon’s Characterization
Zack Snyder has always had trouble with characterization; the drama and flair of his highly stylized movies frequently carry the main weight of the narrative. Simon Abrams wrote, “As usual, Snyder doesn’t seem to care about these characters so much as he likes their style-guide features, like their cleavage, their haircuts, and their hard-stressed accents.” Reviewers criticized the latest release for carrying on with this practice. Whether or not these characters can carry the projected franchise forward is still to be seen.
4. Zack Snyder Mishandles Severe Topics
Director Zack Snyder has never shied away from telling less-than-honorable tales that explore some sensitive subjects; examples of his work include Sucker Punch, which uses sexual violence as its driving force. Some commentators have criticized his awkward treatment of such sensitive subjects. In addition, A Child On Fire‘s portrayal of LGBTQ+ groups was criticized by reviewer Clarisse Loughrey (via Independent), even though non-binary actor E Duffy plays a prominent non-binary protagonist in the movie.
5. More of A Proof-of-Concept
Part One – A Child of Fire is under a lot of pressure to build excitement and a strong storyline. It serves as the foundation for a whole new, original science fiction universe. However, reviews indicate that it has taken precedence over the plot in the first movie’s rush to establish Rebel Moon’s universe. According to Mark Olsen of Los Angeles Times, “‘Child of Fire’ already feels like too much narrative throat-clearing.”
6. Scenes of the Sci-fi Movie Is Great
If one were to argue that Zack Snyder is a director who prioritizes style over substance, then there are probably some of his admirers who will overlook Rebel Moon’s flaws in exchange for some amazing action scenes. Fortunately, critics seem to agree that the fighting scenes and choreography are the show’s standout features. Tom Beasly teases that “A climactic face-off between Boutella and Skrein gets particularly nasty and inventive” while praising the movie’s “terrific stunt work” (via The Digital Fix).
7. Rebel Moon Has Some Amazing Performances
Despite how scathing the Rotten Tomatoes review may sound, not every component of Rebel Moon has been disregarded by critics. Despite the movie’s numerous other flaws, many critics have lauded the performances, especially Anthony Hopkins’s Jimmy. The film’s ensemble is its lone redeeming grace, according to Indie Wire’s David Ehrlich, who goes on to say that Jena Malone’s role ought to be honored as a “first-ballot inductee to the Hall of Fame of Thankless Movie Performances” (via Indie Wire).
8. Final Cut of the Rebel Moon: Part One
Zack Snyder appears to be capitalizing on his reputation as the post-production success doctor following the popularity of his cut of Justice League on HBO Max. Rebel Moon’s director’s cut, which is rated R on Netflix, may address some of the film’s pacing problems and shallow characterization. This begs the question of why Snyder is bothering with separate edits, given his creative control, in contrast to Warner Bros.’ lustful handling of the Justice League franchise. “Ultimately, the decision to release two versions of this film […] feels like a misstep,” as Rebel Moon critic Sheraz Farooqi attests (via Cinemadebate.com).