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Review: Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver (2024)

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver (2024)

Directed by: Zack Snyder

Premise: Picking up where Part One left off, Kora (Sofia Boutella) and her companions return to their home planet but discover that the villain Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein) has survived and is planning an invasion.

What Works: The Scargiver is very much an extension of its predecessor and that includes its look. This picture has some exceptional visuals, especially in wide shots, with colors and textures that pop. The filmmaking combines digital and practical elements seamlessly and with good judgment about how to best apply those approaches. The agrarian society is well rendered. The filmmakers have a feel for the physicality of this low-tech farming culture which creates a credible world.

What Doesn’t: Unfortunately, The Scargiver also continues and in many respects exacerbates the problems of its predecessor. The Rebel Moon films are clearly intended to be Zack Snyder’s version of Star Wars; it replicates the central conflict with a rebellion against a fascistic empire, some of the characters have a similar look, and this installment even has the equivalent of a lightsaber fight. The Star Wars analogies do Rebel Moon no favors. At best, Zack Synder’s films come across as a hollow imitation of George Lucas’ space opera and “hollow” is the appropriate word to describe The Scargiver. The sequel is positioned to be The Empire Strikes Back but it has none of the qualities that actually made the original Star Wars trilogy so memorable. If anything, the Rebel Moon films, and The Scargiver especially, are reminiscent of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. None of the characters are interesting and or even possess distinguishing traits. Everyone is a generic space warrior from the cover art of a paperback fantasy novel and they have nothing more to them than that. Like the Star Wars prequels, The Scargiver has similarly clumsy exposition, oftentimes even worse, with characters sitting around talking about their backgrounds. The drama is flat. There are lots of explosions and artillery fire and triumphant screaming but nothing in The Scargiver has an emotional impact. There are moments that are supposed to be big dramatic beats, especially when some of the principal characters die, but because everyone is so flat and uninteresting their deaths or victories are meaningless. The Scargiver is also frequently stupid. The villains return to the planet with the intent of wiping out the community—which is apparently the only village on the entire planet—but instead of just using their advanced firepower they get mired in a ground battle. The film frequently resorts to deus ex machina resolutions which only further undermines the story.

Disc extras: Available on Netflix.

Bottom Line: Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver has all the flaws of its processor but manages to be worse. The first film had the excuse of setting up a fantasy world but the second film does nothing with that set up. The film is well-crafted but it’s also generic and boring.

Episode: #995 (May 5, 2024)