Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire


Considering he made his directorial in only 2004 with Dawn of the Dead, Zack Snyder has had an impressive career to date.

After films such as 2007’s 300 and 2009’s Watchmen, Snyder was pretty much handed the keys to the DC universe, with carte blanche to take it in any direction he wanted.

This saw him helm 2013’sMan of Steel, 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League.

Now with all that superhero business in his rear view, the director is now in league with Netflix, which have produced his last three films, including this latest.

boom reviews Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire
Take the droids/princess/space monkey/ whatever while i deal with these Storm...baddies.

Working on a small farm, in a galaxy far, far away, is Kora (Sofia Boutella); she’s been there two seasons now, working the land, and she’s starting to feel like she belongs, being accepted by the hard-working community as she has been.

But then one day, a huge spaceship descends, and changes everything. They are from the Motherworld, and its representative Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein), has a proposition for them that they can’t exactly turn down.

The situation soon heads south, and Kora manages to escape, along with Gunnar (Michiel Huisman), with the ambitious plan of building a small army to protect the farm and farmers from the onslaught that’s sure to come.

So off they set, into space, on a recruitment drive to save a community.

boom reviews Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire
Work with Snyder they said, he's a genius they said...

Déjà vu. That’s the one over-riding sensation that’s going to hit you when you see this film; it will come on so strong it will be akin to Peter Parker’s Spidey senses flashing away.

Much has been mentioned about Snyder’s film’s similarities to a certain George Lucas franchise. And yes, it’s there alright. From the opening shot that sees a massive spaceship enter the frame, accompanied by a voice-over, that could have easily been a screen crawl, giving a potted history, it’s all eerily similar. But that’s not all.

There’s a bar full of local aliens, with a fight scene, and a search for a ship to get them off of a planet. Etc. Etc. It’s not even subtle, but then nothing about this film is.

But Snyder doesn’t just steal from Star Wars, there are heavy whiffs of other films here too. The most notable is The Magnificent Seven/Battle Beyond the Stars, as a team are recruited to save some local farmers.

But the fact that he’s borrowed so heavily from other films isn’t his major crime, the fact that he’s done it so badly is.

Rebel Moon is lifeless, dull and disturbingly unoriginal. It lacks charm, inventiveness, and simply any kind of personality.

Characters haven’t got enough about them to even make them two dimensional; they could have been replaced by generic plastic action figures and the film would have had more impact.

The story is the heart of the problem however, and Snyder only has himself to blame, as he conceived it. If anyone struggles with an original premise, without leaning on an existing franchise, it’s Snyder. Sucker Punch anyone?

Another film it feels like it has a lot in common with is 2012’s John Carter, that managed to be epic in both scale and failure.

Of course the irony is that there is a “Snyder cut” coming early next year; apparently the idea was to produce an R rated film, but Netflix wanted PG-13, which Snyder gave them, and in return Netflix said he could knock himself out with another cut of the film. It seems odd that no other director has ever gotten so many of their films wrong so many times, to warrant so many cuts, as the majority of the American director’s films now come with his cut. It is of course by now yet another marketing scam, the cinematic equivalent of the Nigerian’ Prince’s email, to have you part ways with even more of your well-earned cash. Snyder should really just concentrate on making the one passable film, because he’s clearly struggling on that front.

Add to the fact that this is also only part one, and you’ve got a new franchise that just underwhelms on every level.

To be fair, Rebel Moon is an easy target for ridicule and derision – which Snyder really does only have himself to blame – but it’s not completely unwatchable. It’s not an awful film, it’s just simply not a very good one.

we give this two out of five