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Rebel Moon Part 1, a review of Zack Snyder's latest work on Netflix

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Rebel Moon Part 1, Zack Snyder's new film, has arrived on Netflix: is it a rebirth for the controversial director or a dramatic flop?

A few days ago we told you about the new Rebel Moon movie project Zack Snyder: The director who brought 300, Watchmen and the first films of the recently ended — and revived — DC Universe to the big screen, pitched an idea to Lucasfilm for a new, more “adult” Star Wars and when he saw it rejected, he turned it into something of his own which Netflix opened up to. Doors for him.

Now that the first part is available on the popular streaming platform, we can tell you about it on our platform Rebel Moon: Daughter of Fire review. Given the project's distinct genesis and the ambitions of Snyder, who intends to continue it even after the sequel is published in April through novels, games and comics, we were really curious… but did he betray or satisfy our expectations?

Rebellion without depth

Rebel Moon cast
Rebel Moon cast

Rebel Moon presents us with a world Mother worldan expansive force born of long conflicts, betrayals and regicides, which, to support its massive army in perpetual conflict, can find nothing better than the harvest of a small farming village on the moon of the Veldt.

Film fans will recognize in these first minutes the homage to Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, while to everyone else, this device can only seem like a strange excuse to start and motivate the film. Cora, the main character played by Sofia Boutella, to rebel. It's also the best way to introduce us to the current villain, Atticus Noble, who for the rest of the movie we'll keep thinking either has some power up his sleeve or he can't be the final boss, so stereotypical and cliche is his character. Characterization, and this is certainly not the fault of Ed Skrein, who now ends up playing almost the same roles in all the films.

The problem with Rebel Moon is actually the following: Description. Korra is certainly the better-drawn character because Snyder devotes a long flashback to the events – strictly speaking com. slowmo – To explain her past, why a tough girl like her ended up farming the fields, and what drove her first to flee and then to fight back against the invading imperialism. Boutella certainly has The role of fitness And his charisma, even if he spends half the time portraying gloomy and suffering looks is justified not only by the backstory that is revealed, but also by that which is left to the viewer's interpretation and which will certainly return to discussion in the second part.

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But other characters have the depth of walking caricatures and it's downright ironic that we practically learn their stories at the end of the film, when Snyder bothers to sum them up in quick succession in a scene that loses any drama. Until that moment, in fact, The plot of Rebel Moon is – so to speak – a linear one research Which looks like it came out of a video game, in which bounty hunter Kai (Charlie Hunnam)'s spaceship travels from planet to planet, picking up a new champion of the Korra Rebellion after completing a small side quest. It's unfortunate that the game… that is, the movie works this way, because Snyder's colorful “samurai” had – and still has – some potential.

It may not be Djimon Hounsou's Titus, who has four lines on the cross and is also, poor guy, now trapped in the gladiator/warrior persona, but certainly Tarak Staz Nair and Doña Bey's enemy, yes. The latter, in particular, is the most fascinating member of the cast: a cyborg warrior armed with glowing swords who was clearly a Jedi in the original script proposed to Lucasfilm. We have to admit it We also loved Michiel Huisman as Gunnara frightened and clumsy farmer who supports Korra in an interesting reversal of roles, especially considering the Dutch actor's previous performances (for example he was the role of Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones after Skrein played the same role for a season).

Something shines?

Lightsaber according to Zack Snyder
Lightsaber according to Zack Snyder

However, at the end of the day, Snyder has managed to pull off the extraordinary feat of writing a better robot – who in the original was voiced by none other than Sir Anthony Hopkins – with a promising presentation and perhaps less than five minutes of scenes, and the spidery little boss who doesn't… He offers only what he can that is more interesting than all the heroes combined. Rebel Moon's problems, from this point of view, are basically two. Firstly, You can clearly feel that part of the film is missing. Snyder has already put his hand up: There will be a longer, uncensored director's cut — the violence in the film is minimal and often hidden or disguised — which would better develop some of the backstory. second, There is not a single idea in the entire film that is considered in the least bit original. Actually, no, there will be one, which is soldiers who are encouraged to find a romantic partner to distance themselves from politics and fight for a higher motivation, even if that seems to only apply to Korra.

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And the rest is literally A soup of ideas, concepts and images. Rebel Moon has it all: not just Star Wars, of course, but also Star Trek, Dune, The Fifth Element, Jupiter Ascending, and let's also add a little John Carter and an ounce of Avatar, just like that, for good measure. . Then the dirty and greasy look that mimics Westerns, with more than sober imagination in creating alien creatures with the help of make-up and computer graphics – The Levitical King is great for example – decorates the film, as long as Snyder stays alone and does not imitate anything else.

A scene from Rebel Moon Part 1: Daughter of Fire
A scene from Rebel Moon Part 1: Daughter of Fire

The problem – which will not be a problem for some, on the contrary – is that Snyder is still Snyder: if slow motion His trademark remains, and there's plenty of it in Rebel Moon, in and out of the action scenes. Someone might maliciously claim that it is these devices that “waste” precious seconds of narration, and that slowdown, or reduced depth of field causing blurred images, is harmful from a great aesthetic point of view. We do not feel like criticizing Snyder for his style, which you may or may not like, but his mark remains subtle and in certain moments more than noticeable: Anything can be said but it's not that Rebel Moon is a “bad” movie worth watching. And it's not much of a listen, since Tom Holkenborg's music, while not particularly memorable by his standards, greatly enhances crucial scenes.

In fact, the real flaw lies in this first part An almost dissociative liberation, especially in the second half of the film – which can't always be justified with potential director's cuts – and in the choreography, which, being an action film basically inspired by everything else, is certainly generic and uninspired. Perhaps it is in these aspects that the weight of the broadcast budget is felt (but not much: the two films, shot back to back, cost almost $200 million) but above all A smaller ambition for sure From what Snyder seemed to promise in his multimedia universe. The feeling is that in the final, he didn't believe in it much either.

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We could say, quite simply, that there's a reason why Star Wars took forty years to tell us about the rebellion against the Empire, but in the end Star Wars is Star Wars and Rebel Moon is… well, whatever you want to say, anyway. , sub-brand. This is a minestrone derivative – but these days, what else is it? – You can't get rid of everything, and ironically, Snyder's aesthetic, his trademark, can save him from complete disaster, if you appreciate slowness, blur, and some statuesque structures. However, the editing and script are truly awkward, exposing all the limitations of a project that was born to be something else and was clumsily recycled. Maybe a sequel will save it, and maybe the director will save it sooner, but for now Rebel Moon Part 1 is a watchable movie, yes, but one you forget before the credits roll.


  • Zack Snyder aesthetic, if you like that
  • An idea or character with interesting potential
  • Overall, it's easy to watch


  • Zack Snyder's aesthetic, if you don't like it
  • Almost all of the main characters are tissue paper fish
  • Obviously a large portion of the footage is missing
  • Action scenes are trivial and uninspiring

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