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Rebel Moon 2023 Review – Hit or Miss

Rebel moon is a remake of Star wars (or at least an attempt)

rebel moon

Good Start

Storyline – “Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire” gets off to a good, if derivative, start. The camera pans down from an image of a spaceship against a backdrop of stars to a small agricultural group on an isolated moon after some perplexing voice-over narration. Kora (Sofia Boutella), a newbie to the neighborhood, is introduced to us. She is a dedicated worker who is hesitant to truly connect with her countrymen due to her strange past.

Admiral Noble (Ed Skrein), the captain of a battalion of stormtroopers representing something called the Motherworld, walks into this tranquil agrarian setting. They demand crop tribute and leave soldiers behind to watch the town’s next harvest. When the troops start attacking the locals, Kora and another farmer (Michiel Huisman) depart to form a fighting army to protect them.

Thus far, so good.

rebel moon

umm … what just happened?

From then, the film devolves into a perplexing, bloated, and overwritten jumble of world building, uninspired action, and highly ambitious but underwhelming effects work, focused on establishing the broader Rebel Moon-iverse rather than delivering a compelling (or logical) story.

The most of the story feels like the middle of a story stretched out across two hours, with the ending omitted. (Perhaps we’ll have to wait until April to see “Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver”?) Sure, there’s a climactic battle at the conclusion, but there’s no emotional payoff.

Kora travels from planet to planet recruiting tough but interchangeable volunteers, therefore the characters are mostly one-dimensional. With little buildup and no clear understanding of motive, one big character development occurs. Later, another character is unexpectedly killed. Instead of an emotionally charged scene, we’re left wondering: Did this individual contribute anything to the plot in the first place?

Left with confusion

The underlying issue with “Rebel Moon,” whose plot is based on “Seven Samurai” — or, at the very least, the first half of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic — is structure. Every key plot strand is left unresolved. “Moon” features a lot of buildup but little resolution, and it floats throughout the majority of its overlong play duration.

It also has the stylistic imprints of Zack Snyder, a populist auteur more akin to Michael Bay than Wes Anderson: slow-motion shots of the human form, severe color grading in totally computer-generated surroundings, and compositions that feel ripped from a comic book. (In this film, Snyder works as director, co-writer, producer, and cinematographer.)

rebel moon

Star Wars: Episode IV? or Rebel moon?

All of the slo-mo and visceral brutality utilized to accentuate individual movement rather than define action, preventing the scenes from having any spatial context, gets tiresome over the course of the film. Every action scene is shot in the same way, and the shock wears off over time. When combined with the film’s frequently stagnant plot, his imposing manner creates an experience that is both droll and dull. The consequence is excitement without substance, which contributes to the film’s overall lack of obvious stakes.

rebel moon

It’s worth contrasting the film with “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope,” from which Snyder draws stylistic inspiration. At every turn, it appears that the filmmaker is attempting to outdo George Lucas by delivering a supercharged version of the first Star Wars film. But, like a picture of a picture, “Moon” regularly falls short, copying imagery and character types but failing to capture the heart and beauty of its predecessor. It’s a picture devoid of fun and joy, instead adopting a tone of self-seriousness. Would it kill him to include just one joke?

@sethsfilmreviews Replying to @AlexOtter #zacksnyder #snydercut #netflix #streaming #rebelmoonreview ♬ original sound – Sethsfilmreviews

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