Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver Review

Zack Snyder completes his vision of his epic sci-fi story with part two of Rebel Moon. The first installment gave viewers more of the groundwork of this universe filled with cosmic worlds, robots, and a powerful regime ruling the entire galaxy under its thumb. Rebel Moon: A Child of Fire had very mixed feelings across the board as it felt familiar to audiences who are fans of Star Wars seeing this as a pale comparison to that franchise. With Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver, this one kicks the story into high gear with more action than the previous film as well as more development with these characters. It still suffers from the same flaws as the first film, but it also is an improvement that connects the two films to create a fulfilling story.

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver picks up right where A Child of Fire left off as our ragtag group of heroes returns to the red moon of Veldt to prepare for the upcoming battle against the Imperium. Kora (Boutella) and Gunnar (Michiel Huisman) gather all the villagers to help defend their home with the help of former Imperium general Titus (Djimon Hounsou) leading the fight. Other characters in the fight include the cyborg swordmaster Nemesis (Doona Bae), the nobleman-turned-blacksmith Tarak (Staz Nair), and rebel fighter Millius (Elise Duffy). With the time ticking before their arrival, our heroes and the villagers must harvest enough grain to save their world. On the enemy front, Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein) survives after his fight with Kora as he plots his revenge and makes a course for Veldt to take over the planet to please Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee) to increase his hold over the empire. As Titus points out, it won’t be an easy fight as many may day and victory may not be possible. 

The film makes enough room for our characters to breathe as we learn their background and connection to the Imperium. Donna’s character loses her village and family as it is attacked by the empire, putting her on the path of vengeance as she gains the skills of a swordmaster with the use of her robotic hands. Nair’s Tarak was once a noble prince in his world before his kingdom crumbled under the attack of the Motherworld. Titus’ fall from grace is also shown as we see how his army was killed after refusing to surrender to the enemy when he was once a general for the Imperium. Kora’s backstory is also explored as audiences learn about growing up in the Motherworld’s royal palace protecting the King and Queen while developing a friendship with their daughter before being part of a coup with Balisarius. All these characters have a connection as the film establishes where they came from.

One of the biggest improvements from the first film is the sense of emotion. The original movie throws all these characters together without enough information about them, making it hard to invest in their motivations. The second movie does give some time well spent in learning more about these fighters and how much they have suffered under the Imperium’s rule. Each of them has a reason to join this crusade against them and it’s all tied to getting some bloodthirsty revenge on the empire. It also helps to give the villagers more to do as they learn to fight instead of hiding with some guidance from Titus. It’s a common theme in films similar to this where the rebels fight back against their oppressors, giving more reason for the audience to cheer for them. The film allows Boutella to grow into her character with more emotion while Skrein eats up the screen with his villainous portrayal as the lieutenant of the Imperium. Donna also gives a well-provoked performance as she shows more of her vulnerable side after forming a motherly bond with a village child.

The Scargiver puts everything on the table with its third act where most of the action takes place. This is where Zach Snyder excels as he unleashes glorious action sequences through slow-motion capture. There will be some scenes where this was completely unnecessary during the first half of the film and the original, but the action scenes here are what makes the movie truly cinematic in scope. The epic battles on Veldt are what make this great cinematography capturingslow frame rates to give gorgeous shots of our characters in battle. Boutella, Doona, and Hounsou give it their all in these breathtaking fight scenes that highlight their skills on the battlefield. The biggest cheer comes from Anthony Hopkins’ droid-like character Jimmy, who joins the fight in epic fashion taking down soldiers and tanks.

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver is a purely enjoyable sci-fi flick that improves from the first outing with more action and emotional moments with our characters. There is a lot more to explore in Snyder’s space opera despite the slow start that we got from the first film. The world-building is there in concept on top of the visual appeal and the extensive battle sequences. It feels like both films are stripped down from having great potential, but maybe the director’s cut can fit all the pieces together. It’ll be interesting to see where Snyder takes this story in the future, but structure will have to be given more priority as we get a sense there’s more to what is given to the audience. Overall, the second film builds on that foundation and gives signs of life for this original IP through the filmmaker’s style that fans know and love. 

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver is now streaming on Netflix.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


All Ages of Geek Simple Curved Second Line Green