Rebel Moon - The Scargiver - a big NUMBER TWO

Published: 21st April 2024, by Andrew Radbourne.

My musings about Netflix woeful Rebel Moon Part 2 - The Scargiver Mild Spoilers

Greetings everyone,

This morning, I sat down to watch Rebel Moon Part 2 with a certain level of apprehension. The first instalment was far from impressive, boasting a derivative storyline, rushed sequences despite its excessive runtime, and characters that were nothing more than clichéd stereotypes lacking any depth. We were assured that these deficiencies would be addressed in Part 2, however, spoiler alert, they weren’t. Personally, I believe that a film should be compelling enough in its own right, without relying on sequels for redemption.

Netflix poster for Reben Moon Part 2 The scargiver featuring the cast with Sophia Boutella front and centre with Nemesis and General Titus
Netflix Poster for Rebel Moon Part 2: The Scargiver
Before I delve into specifics, let me clarify that I do not harbour animosity towards Zack Snyder. In fact, I found Watchmen and his remake of Dawn of the Dead quite entertaining. His knack for producing stunning visuals is commendable, though his storytelling abilities leave much to be desired. Whoever thought it befitting to entrust him with scriptwriting should seriously reconsider their decision.

To provide you with a brief synopsis (warning: spoilers ahead), anyone who watched the first film knows it's a blatant imitation of Seven Samurai-style movies, the most notable being The Magnificent Seven though its more akin to Battle Beyond the Stars. The first part saw the assembly of eight warriors, and now we witness their preparation for battle, keeping in line with the usual narrative development involving villagers hiding, fortifying defences, and learning to shoot.

Despite its video game-like aesthetics at times, and Snyder's excessive reliance on tricks like slow motion and camera blur, the film does have some pleasing visuals. The battle scene, for the most part, is enjoyable and creates an atmosphere of chaos.

Unfortunately, this is where the shortcomings start to surface.

The one-on-one fights appear overly staged, with combatants visibly planning their next moves, leading to stilted sequences. This could be attributed to poor direction, as characters often make irrational decisions and stand idle waiting to be killed instead of reacting.

The characters remain underdeveloped, with long, lingering shots that fail to convey any profound meaning. The villagers pay tribute in a strange manner, but it lacks substance due to our lack of familiarity with these characters. They are merely generic tropes, and the complete lack of conflict or relationship-building among them results in no tangible stakes.

The sole exception might be Nemesis, a grieving mother seeking revenge, primarily because it's a relatable motivation. Bae Doona adds a touch of warmth to her character during a clichéd and underdeveloped, interaction with a village boy, but it still fails to stir any significant emotional response. Also, for a supposed master swordswoman, Nemesis appears rather inept, easily overwhelmed while twirling her faux lightsabers.

Sophia boutella as kora the scargiver from netflix rebel moon part 2 the scargiver
Sophia Boutella as Kora/The Scargiver
Sophia Boutella does what she can with the material she's given, but her character's motivations and history, like most others, are bizarre and ethically dubious. The dialogue is trite and clichéd, and despite the effort the actors put in, little can salvage this vacuous spectacle.

In terms of spoilers, Sophia's character's moral ambiguity escalates when it's revealed that she cold-heartedly murdered a child during a coup led by her adoptive father. The shockingly casual reaction to this revelation by her lover adds to the character's confusing narrative. Towards the end, she has a moment of redemption, but it does little to clear up her convoluted character development.

The overall viewing experience feels empty. I found myself sighing at the poor quality of certain scenes, the clunky dialogue, and the poorly developed characters. Some ardent Snyder fans may argue that I simply don't understand the film, but the reality is, there's nothing profound or clever about it.

In conclusion, Zack, please refrain from writing your own movies. You're not good at it.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you think my analysis is spot on, or am I missing the mark?

Until next time, peace out.
I'm giving this a score of 2
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