Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver
Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver
Home » Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver

Zack Snyder’s movies are like everything and nothing else in the universe. The second half of the director’s relentless saga about a rural village on the edge of creation rising against imperious invaders, “Rebel Moon — Part Two: The Scargiver,” borrows from as many different things as there are stars up above. Naturally, “Star Wars” (yes, there are light sabers), and also “Mad Max,” Caravaggio, John Ford, European art-house cinema. World War II propaganda flicks, steampunk Victoriana, cottagecore girlies on Instagram and Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle finale. Choired by two types (Haunted child & Gregorian) but maybe also a frame with a robot dressed like Green Knight (and voiced by Anthony Hopkins), next to a Conan the Barbarian clone next to some guy in overalls who looks like he just flew in from Bonnaroo. While it is not good per se, this is an absolutely delirious pulpy mishmash of knockoffs.

Released on Netflix in December, the first “Rebel Moon” made audiences go through a whole bunch of narrative groundwork that doesn’t mean much here and has been rehashed above. Gunnar (Michiel Huisman), a farm boy and Kora (Sofia Boutella), an assassin who keeps her secrets hidden form an interstellar band of guardians assisted by Djimon Hounsou Staz Nair Elise Duffy Doona Bae amongst others). Then we have five days left before their team must defeat the vicious army commanded by Admiral Galey with both bad haircut and attitude.

Whenever any character speaks dialogue written by Snyder Kurt Johnstad Shay Hatten which overreach themselves painfully. You won’t find one authentic conversation only exposition dumps or soliloquies (the best of them is performed by Hounsou). Finally after an hour long speeches another hour full scale war breaks out. It is in the primitive, relentless, and excruciating violence that Snyder thrives. He’ll kill anyone—including nice folks—even grandmas turned guerilla fighters who just want to return to folk dancing. And he doesn’t make it painless.

The film has a lot of dying but little living. Boutella, as the leader, is somnolent until she can get to stabbing and in several different scenes. Where she and the others warriors sit around a meal discussing strategy, the actors are told not to touch the food. Slowed down are all those things that could look beautiful if shown in slow motion: tears, explosions, wheat threshing or flour grinding. In one shot a person jumps from up high and slowly falls back down until they hit with a splat.

No one does flamboyance quite like Snyder. As commendable as his inability to say no is—dramatic kisses against a pink-ringed planet’s backdrop, priestly hats that look like glowing pepperonis, four-legged tanks swaying about as though hung over armadillos — there comes a point where it becomes more than obstinacy; Hence his refusal to tone down any of his inclinations whatsoever is admirable even if originating from an incapacity for self-denial. The death toll tops three figures while the ground-shaking fight spreads into skies. And I thought about Clerks’ moral debate over workers who died constructing the Death Star for Darth Vader. But at least Snyder shows their faces before mowing them down.

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