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Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver

Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver

A stark improvement from the first movie, but it's still hard to see what the vision was.

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Like many others, when we first took a look at Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire, it's safe to say we didn't like it. Hated it, by the looks of André's review. Personally, Zack Snyder's first foray into his new sci-fi franchise was certainly a misstep, but one that failed to impress more so than be an outright offense on the eyes.

It was a slow scene-setter of a film, one packed with tell, don't show dialogue, bits of lore that felt like it was picked right from the Warhammer 40,000 and Dune trees, and action that just felt like fights happening in front of you all the time, especially when the film is showing our team being gathered.

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Few of you are likely expecting much here, but I have to say I enjoyed Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver much more than Part One. As mentioned, Part One is a scene-setter, a film that doesn't accomplish much in terms of its story, which means that The Scargiver gets a lot of the big story beats, action set pieces, and more that the first movie feels as if it's missing. We find out a lot more about our key characters, including the backstory of our protagonist, which to be honest would have helped a lot in giving the first movie an emotional anchor without just throwing in a random sexual assault scene.

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We pick up right where we left off in Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire, with Kora, Gunnar, and the gang having fled the forces of the Motherworld back to Veldt. Thinking they've won the day but failing to recognise the bar at the bottom of the screen that shows we've still got two hours of movie left, the heroes are given a sudden rude awakening when it turns out Ed Skrein's Admiral Noble is on his way back to Veldt to collect grain and Kora's head.

Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver

And that's our setup. From there, the film is very simple in its plot, which is to its merit. There's no need for any extra goings on besides these farmers and the handful of heroes defending their new home from the Empire - I mean Motherworld. With the plot being so straightforward, we get to know more about our heroes, too, and while they're not the deepest characters, it at least gives a sense of attachment to them as we go into our big battle. It also delivers a sense of the scope Snyder is thinking of when it comes to the Rebel Mooniverse. It's a shame, really, that we're stuck on quite a bland farming planet for this movie, as there are plenty of more interesting places and stories shown in the backstory sequences. A movie about the Victorian-era planet with gryphons, please, Mr Snyder.

While it's clear Snyder's new sci-fi universe has taken a lot from other major IPs, it remains quite interesting as a concept. Visually, a lot of the aliens, planets, ship designs are intriguing, and I'd like to give a shout-out to Jimmy the robot, voiced by the one and only Anthony Hopkins. It's a decent treat for the eyes and certainly acts as the grittier sci-fi that fans were hoping for. However, Rebel Moon, in both movies, can't really escape being bland.

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Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver

It's clear that Snyder and all those working with him have put a lot of time into crafting this universe, and when I was watching certain moments my mind started to wonder about certain aspects of that universe, but such investment from the audience isn't exactly rewarded by the final product of the film. Yes, you could wonder about the Motherworld, Kora, Noble, and what lies under the surface-level knowledge you get about them in the film, but really there are no teases for any of that. What you see is what you get, when really any sort of successful genre franchise always has fans asking what was meant by a certain line, a moment, an event referenced that hasn't yet been explored.

The performances in the movie are good, considering the dialogue doesn't really do much heavy lifting. It's your regular action stuff, really. Tough guys, tough gals, blasting indiscriminate baddies until the head of the snake is cut off. Speaking of, I'd like to highlight Ed Skrein here, who always stands out as a notable villain even with his silly haircut. I never felt bored watching Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver. It's paced pretty well even if it never really jumps above the low bar of basic.

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Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver is the film a 14-year-old me would have loved, for better or worse. It contains a lot of action, it's set in a pretty cool universe, and there's just enough character moments to remind you that there are people you're meant to be following. However, there's also not a lot to keep you invested when it comes to the plot, and it often is left feeling like a run-of-the-mill action romp, when to make a name for itself as a new contender pitted against the best of sci-fi, we need a bit better than that. Hopefully the hate isn't as severe this time around, as I think the second half still works to make a much better whole.

05 Gamereactor UK
5 / 10
+
Tighter story, more focus on the action, Ed Skrein gives his all
-
Still bogged down in a lot of exposition, doesn't ask much of its viewer
overall score
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