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REBEL MOON – Part One: Child on Fire | Review

Zack Snyder pitched the original concept of REBEL MOON as a Star Wars movie to Disney. When the studio rejected it, he took its bones and pitched its refreshed story to Netflix. They jumped on it full force and let Zack cook. A single movie turned into two, an animated series, and comic books, which enhanced my anticipation of seeing this film.

If you are here it’s likely because you’re interested in whether my opinion aligns with yours or my thoughts before you watch it. Well, get ready…

The Star Wars tones are still throughout, but the flavours of Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and many other sci-fi films provide the groundwork for what is a familiar story not too dissimilar to A Bug’s Life. Yes, I said A Bug’s Life, the Pixar animated film where a group of grasshoppers keep taking food from Ants. One then sets off for help to protect the ants. 

Kora (Sophia Boutella) has been rescued from a ship crash and joins the community of farmers who pulled her from the ship. She’s living a good life until her old life shows up to disrupt her peaceful existence. Without getting into spoiler territory she sets off to get warriors to help defend the community that accepted her.

There are a few problems with this film, but they are minor. There are some pacing issues and some choppiness to the story. Likely to be filled by the future director’s cut that will likely patch that choppiness. The quest to get some warriors was not handled particularly well giving me some Battle Beyond the Stars vibes. That being said, these are minor in the scope of the film which spends its time world-building and setting the stage for Part 2.

REBEL MOON is filled with Snyder’s flair. Beautiful grand shots during the action sequences. Slow-mo shots during epic moments, of which there are plenty. However, I think Zack needed a director of photography here for the non-action sequences instead of taking on the duties himself. I found the framing in a few sequences didn’t fit well with the story.

On the flip side, there are likeable characters even if a little underused in Part 1. The VFX and sound design are incredible and build this new universe Zack and the team have created. The action sequences were incredible with a few “OOOOOHHHH” moments as my family watched it. It’s bold, ambitious, and a fun film to watch. It’s not perfect, but in reality, very few films are.

Trying to create a new Sci-Fi universe in an age where nearly everything has been done before is no easy task. The familiar pieces are not improved upon but aren’t poorly used either. I am excited for Part 2 based on the foundation this film built.

REBEL MOON is going to do HUGE numbers for Netflix. I do recommend you check it out even with the issues I described above. 

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REBEL MOON – Part One: Child on Fire | Review


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About The Author

Since seeing Star Wars on TV as a child Shane has been hooked on movies. In 2001 he decided to start up his own webpage dedicated to his new love DVD. Now, over 20-years later he continues to FEED YOUR HUNGER with the latest Theatrical, Blu-ray and DVD reviews.

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