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Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver review: Snyder’s sequel is all style and no substance

Even the most ardent Snyder fans would agree that both films have fallen short in terms of quality.

Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver review: Snyder’s sequel is all style and no substance

Last Updated: 11.49 PM, Apr 19, 2024


Story: Kora (Sofia Boutella) and her new rag-tag team of warriors return to Veldt with the belief that the threat posed by Admiral Atticus Noble and the Motherworld has been neutralised. However, to their shock and horror, they are informed the sinister Admiral is alive and that he is returning to Veldt with his army in just a few days. Kora, Gunnar, and Titus rally the villagers to stand and fight against the soldiers of the Motherworld.


Review: Zack Snyder is no stranger to people questioning the cinematic excellence of his films. Some have argued that some of his films such as Watchmen and Man of Steel are criminally underrated and other films such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are misunderstood masterpieces. Unfortunately, Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver is neither underrated nor is it misunderstood. It is quite simply a cliched space opera with Snyder’s trademark visual flair. The story is bland and the characters are underdeveloped, rendering the film chaotic from start to finish.


The film’s most crippling setback is the narrative’s indulgence in expositions. While expositions are vital in establishing the setting and the story in a space opera, the film ignores one of the most fundamental aspects of storytelling – character development. The romance teased between Kora and Gunnar in the first film, is fully realised in the first act of the film. However, restricting their character arcs has made their romance detached from the overarching narrative. Their chemistry from the first film has almost dissipated in the sequel. Michiel Huisman, who plays Gunnar, does justice to his role despite inconsistencies in how his character is written. Coincidentally Ed Skrein, whom Huisman replaced as Dario Naharis in Game of Thrones, is excellent as the villainous Admiral Atticus Noble. Skrein’s has a surprisingly fleshed-out arc, albeit being a run-of-the-mill evil villain.


The slow-motion action shots are unsurprisingly a vital part of Snyder’s aesthetic. It is rife throughout the film and it has therefore cheapened its value in pivotal action scenes. The music accompanying these scenes is certainly well composed by Tom Holkenborg, but it sounds ever so slightly familiar to his work in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Snyder’s penchant for stylised visuals is ever-present yet again, but the scene lacks nuanced editing to enhance the storytelling. This is unfortunate considering visual storytelling has always been Snyder’s greatest asset.


The film’s brightest moments are its final act, but it is less ambitious than the first in terms of world-building. The final action scenes on the other hand are certainly entertaining, and the battle between Kora and the Admiral is well-choreographed. The same cannot be said for Doona Bae’s character, Nemesis, and her dual sword-wielding fight scenes. In other words, the filmmakers have squandered the opportunity for some epic Lightsaber-inspired fight scenes. Her character’s potential in the final fight sequences can only be labelled ‘wasted potential’. Anthony Hopkins’s cameo as the robot James is an attempt at replicating Wonder Woman’s introduction in Batman v Superman and Superman’s return in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. However, it fails to match the cinematic quality of the aforementioned films. Djimon Hounsou, Staz Nair, and Elise Duffy play other prominent roles but are under-utilised.


Verdict: Despite an entertaining third act, Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver is an underwhelming sequel. Unlike some of Zack Snyder’s previous films both parts of Rebel Moon are not polarising, but they are uninspired and exhausting. Even the most ardent Snyder fans would agree that both films have fallen short in terms of quality.



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