Netflix’s latest release titled Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire has received mixed reviews. The film’s flair and kitsch have been well received by viewers.
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Netflix’s latest release titled Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire has received mixed reviews. Considering Zack Snyder’s cultural influences and his ability to create countless discourses about his films, it is no surprise that Rebel Moon has had this effect on audiences and critics. It can be best described as an engaging new space opera film, packed with visually arresting action and drama. The film’s flair and kitsch have been well received by viewers who’ve slotted it as one that may not win you over if you’ve not been a fan of Snyder’s characteristic style.
Most criticism surrounding the film centers around the fact that the film feels like a reductive jumble of compelling visuals and genre-specific clichés, with little time and effort invested in character development.
In any case, the film does lack coherence with a greater emphasis placed on style rather than content, which leaves significant narrative gaps. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Sindri’s obvious lie
Sindri, played by Corey Stoll, is knowledgeable and caring from the beginning. It’s also strongly implied that he backs the expanding uprising against the Motherworld. So it’s particularly odd when Motherworld soldiers arrive and Sindri decides to lie to Admiral Atticus Noble in an unconvincing fashion. When Noble, played by Ed Skrein, arrives in the village, he makes Sindri an offer that he will pay three times the market value for the excess harvest. He lies and claims they have nothing to spare because he doesn’t want to foster a relationship with the evil space Nazis. Though sincere, it’s also such a blatant lie that, Sindri is killed within minutes. Noble probably would have murdered him anyhow, but this entire action seems ill-advised and uncharacteristic.
Kora's gunfight at the bar is far-fetched
Following the slaughter of every soldier Noble left behind as enforcers on Veldt, Kora, played by Sofia Boutella, sets out on a heroic quest to gather warriors capable of protecting her new home. She is joined by Gunnar as they travel to meet a contact only to witness him being taken into custody by bounty hunters. However, despite their initial attempts to be secretive about their mission Kora goes on to tell everyone at a local pub about their complete scheme, in the immediate aftermath of someone being detained in the name of the Motherworld just a few metres away. Moreover, she uncharacteristically decides to put her faith in Kai, played by Charlie Hunnam, a self-confessed smuggler just because he helped her during the gunfight in the pub.
Kora’s recruitment was remarkably and unusually straightforward
To put it plainly, creating an elite fighting force capable of opposing the Motherworld shouldn't be this simple. Kai is simply doing this, as we find out later, to amass a larger bounty. However, he's also the one aware of everyone's whereabouts. Kora isn't even interested in going to get Nemesis or Tarak. All that matters to her are Titus and the Bloodaxes. Given that Kai is the one with the whereabouts of those other individuals, why doesn't he simply inform Motherworld and discreetly claim the reward? Why take the time and effort to find them? Why even bother with the lengthy con if it's so simple to locate all these people?
The vast galaxy of worlds in Rebel Moon
Kora mentions that she "fought in countless worlds" while serving in the Motherworld's army in one of her backstory speeches. Well, that's doubtful from the contextual clues we can observe. At the beginning of the story, it is revealed that Kora, who is eighteen years old, was given an order and has only been hiding on Veldt for a few seasons. Given actress Sofia Boutella's age of forty-one, one might presume that Kora served in the military for a respectable amount of time. But an infinite number of worlds? Not quite so. The main issue here is that the scope of the Motherworld's warfare is not explained in any way. We are aware that although the empire is vast, there are still many areas that are outside of its purview. It's difficult to picture a planet devoid of natural resources conducting such massive military operations over "countless worlds" without ever seeing opposition.
The Motherworld's methods lack logic
While we're talking about the dark history of the Motherworld, let's take a closer look at the villainous strategies employed in Rebel Moon. Except we never really witness all that. All we witness are acts of heinous damage caused by military campaigns that appear to cost far more than they earn. The ambiguous premise emphasises the point that we shouldn't give the villains too much thought. In the end, they're just evil for the sake of evil.
Kora inexplicably loses her gun
In the final sequence, Kora's holding a gun while she's running after someone. After a while, she appears completely unharmed. What then became of the gun? Why does she leap down to confront Noble without getting it back, and where has it gone? Other than Snyder's desire for a dramatic hand-to-hand combat, there is no plausible reason for this. That being said, that final fight sequence is brilliantly choreographed and engrossing.
Well that's all we have for this episode, until the next one it's your host Nikhil signing out.
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