REVIEW: Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver (2024)

If you had hopes that Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver would improve upon Part One, you can give up on them. The next chapter in Zack Snyder’s failed Star Wars script/blockbuster Netflix sci-fi epic is just as empty, boring, drawn-out, and illogical as its predecessor, with bad dialogue, worse character development (on the occasion the film attempts it), an endless series of easily-conquered enemies, and so much slow-motion the movie could’ve been twenty minutes long if it would only stop pausing for this nonsense.

With her Magnificent… Six assembled, Kora (Sofia Boutella) prepares to fight the Motherworld forces that threaten her adopted farming village. Meanwhile, the bad guys resurrect Admiral Noble for no apparent reason and prepare to strike. Backstories abound.

One of the bigger problems with both halves of Rebel Moon (because let’s be real; neither of these things stands alone as a singular movie) is the pacing. This should have been one movie, but Part One spends so much time getting the mercenary crew together that it became two films. Now, Part Two is stuck having to fill up a feature-length run time when it only has the third and part of the second acts of a story, so it drags everything out to pad the length. The first half of The Scargiver feels like it’ll never end; it’s got scenes of the villagers and their defenders working the fields to bring in the grain crop that are slowed down with Snyder’s patented slow motion. A party scene goes on and on, with each warrior getting a special gift that serves no purpose. Djimon Hounsou chants for a while because chanting means something poignant is going on, even if you have no idea what he’s saying. It’s the worst kind of slog, a transparent attempt to make Rebel Moon – Part Two feel like it needed to be its own movie.

A better filmmaker would have turned the first half of The Scargiver into a compelling character study, but Snyder isn’t much interested in making us care about his heroes. Rebel Moon – Part Two has small gestures intended to replicate character development without anything meaningful happening. A quick interaction between swordswoman Nemesis and a little boy is clearly meant to replicate the bond between Charles Bronson and the child from The Magnificent Seven, but it doesn’t have any of the soul or gravitas (partly because it’s a five-second joke that somehow gets what Snyder thinks is a payoff). In one scene, Djimon Hounsou’s character sits the team down and tells them it’s time to reveal their origins (lest something like this happen naturally), so they oblige… and they all have the same one, where their people were wiped out by the Motherworld. And that robot voiced by Anthony Hopkins pops up sporadically to remind us he still exists; I guess his arc happened between the two films. These aren’t characters; they’re action figures fighting other action figures on a child’s play set.

Rebel Moon Part Two

When the action starts, it’s the same as Rebel Moon – Part One and plenty of other lousy movies, where the villains could easily win but just kind of stand still so the good guys can kill them. There isn’t even a whole lot of strategy involved in the battle; the ragtag farmers and their mercenary protectors just hide and shoot, and that’s enough. It’s another instance of an all-powerful empire looking completely inept. That goes doubly for Admiral Noble, who was killed at the end of Part One but brought back to life. There is no purpose for this, and it’s another example of the first film stuffing itself with so much unnecessary filler that it harms Part Two. There was no reason for Kora to face Noble until the climax of Part Two, but not only did they already have their showdown, but Kora killed him. It’s the same thing the Star Wars sequels did with Kylo Ren; the villain is so thoroughly defeated early on that he’s no longer a threat. But, then, he fits right in with the rest of the bad guys, who are there to give the heroes target practice.

The acting is what it is, which means there’s nothing for anybody to do because the characters are a mass of clichés and blandness. They scream when they’re supposed to scream, either in victory or defiance. They glare a lot because glaring makes you look tough. They talk about honor and battle and little else because they’re allergic to having personalities. Djimon Hounsou comes out of it mostly unscathed because he’s a good enough actor to rise above a movie this bad, although when he yells at the end of a battle, I thought I could see the despair in his eyes. Anthony Hopkins makes his robot’s ruminations on duty and honor sound more profound than they really are. Sofia Boutella is fine, if a little bland, and Michiel Huisman is duller than a blank sheet of paper. Ed Skrein yells a lot and fights people; he won’t be going down in the villain hall of fame. Everyone else is just background noise, and considering how little there is to the leads, that’s not very noisy.

Rebel Moon Part Two

On the plus side, the special effects are good this time, with none of the awful, cartoony shots that popped up in Part One. The laser swords that totally aren’t lightsabers – God, Snyder barely even bothered to rework his Star Wars script  – are a little silly, but they’re not too bad, looks-wise. (It is amusing how the one good guy who wields one only fights bag guys who use them, too, as opposed to the thousands of them with guns who could just shoot her.) The music is the usual mix of dull tones and softer, more emotional beats; nothing terrible, but very much in keeping with about 90% of modern film scores. Snyder constructed the prettiest package he could for this movie, but it’s so devoid of heart, personality, and logic that it’s hard to care about aesthetics.

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver is the same boring chore Part One indicated it would be, with characters who barely qualify as characters and monotonous action that never feels dangerous, wrapped up in some nice special effects. But fear not: the ending reminds us there will be a Part Three!

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver (2024)

Plot - 4
Acting - 5
Directing/Editing - 4
Music/Sound - 6
Special Effects - 8



Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver is the same boring chore Part One indicated it would be, with characters who barely qualify as characters and monotonous action that never feels dangerous, wrapped up in some nice special effects.

Comments (3)

April 21, 2024 at 7:12 am

Been watching a lot of reviewers. Most are not into it at all. One amusing comment about “Tindr approach to character development” being too shallow and not enough to get invested. Interesting that Zack is on a nosedive decline since implying character attacks on GnG.

Also, I feel his prior comments were a contradiction. First, saying he didn’t make it for focus groups, then, he didn’t make it for mass market appeal. OK, so he’s making it for himself? Does he even like his own product or work?
Agree with you about how to you screw up with such a cast? Skrein leaps off the screen much like Cillian Murphy. Hunman, Djimon, Hopkins, Elwes, Corey Stoll. It makes me hang my head. Top notch cast that cannot get much higher, but again, some ballerina chick in the lead, looking all butch, will just always be off-putting to me.
This happened in Rings of Power, where I stuck with it for maybe 5 episodes until all the men were fan-girling over Guyladriel fighting slo-mo on horseback and I turned it off and will probably never watch any further adaptations ever again of that franchise. No shade to the actors of either gender, but some things just will never work for me. To make something this bad with a cast this good? It’s… a crime. This is one of those rare situations, when younger, I would observe and think that if there are licenses to make movies, this guy should get his revoked as some kind of punishment. I thought that about Eli Roth once. You would thing the SAG or the Academy would step in and say, ok, that was so bad, that you gotta go, there’s the door.

April 21, 2024 at 7:27 am

Dante James said it best that it looks like a cut scene from a video game and that he’s seen better in Skyrim. Agree with that completely. Snyder should get Karpyshyn as a writer. Hire Drew. Pay the people you are hacking.

April 25, 2024 at 11:49 am

Remember, this is what Netflix killed Mindhunter for.

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