Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver Review: Lots of style but zero substance

Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver Review: Lots of style but zero substance

Zack Snyder is back with part two of his Rebel Moon space opera saga. We review Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver.

There perhaps isn’t a more polarising filmmaker plying his trade in Hollywood than Zack Snyder. From his early beginnings with an excellent remake of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, through his adaptations of Watchmen and 300, original works like Sucker Punch (the latter of which is set for a new version, so say the rumours) and Army of the Dead, to his most audience/critic splitting endeavours in the DC world with Man of Steel, Batman V Superman and Justice League, his output, while varied, has been met with increasingly divergent opinions.

His fan base adores him, critics not so much and so, when the first part of his own Star Wars-esque extravaganza Rebel Moon landed late last year, again opinion was split down the middle but it was something of a success for Netflix. Part Two, for better or worse, has arrived and while, as with its predecessor, there are some impressive moments, it all falls the way of much of the filmmaker’s other works: lots of style, zero substance to support it.

The new film follows almost immediately from its forerunner: Kora (Sofia Boutella) and her fellow warriors have survived their recent battle and take refuge on Veldt, a once peaceful and tranquil village that has been taking many refugees since the fallout from the war with the Motherworld. But the forces of the Realm are still at large, and led by Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein), they soon track down the rebellion and begin to unleash war on them and their newfound brethren.

One thing you can never fault with a film made – and, in this case, also shot by – Snyder is that many of the visuals are truly sensational. The world-building, at least aesthetically, and the universes he and his visual effects wizards have created are quite something, filled with wonder and colour and easy to get lost in, such is their power and scope. But like with many of his previous efforts, that’s sadly where the magic ends as the rest of the film wrapped around it is so dull, languid, and cheesy that, as in the first part, it never succeeds in getting you interested in anything other than just how beautiful it all looks.

Rebel Moon – Part Two tries to go deeper into the characters, the mythology, and the larger story at play that deals with war, terrorism, displacement, immigration, economic power shifts, and more, but thanks to some corny dialogue, poorly constructed story beats and meandering plot lines, it doesn’t take long for you to start wandering into other worlds completely.

Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver is out now on Netflix