REBEL MOON: PART ONE - A CHILD OF FIRE
Starring: Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Michiel Huisman, Djimon Hounsou, Doona Bae, Ray Fisher, Cleopatra Coleman, Jena Malone, Ed Skrein, Fra Fee, and Anthony Hopkins
Director: Zack Snyder
Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire is one of my biggest regrets of 2023. I was never in the Zack Snyder cult camp, but his visuals have always seemed better than what was accomplished here. The dialogue is truly atrocious, and the set designs and effects are beyond contrived. The overuse of slow-motion in every action scene without good choreography is laughable and its fight scenes are toothless. If you are a masochist and can’t help yourself, I suggest waiting for the R-rated version in desperate hopes that violence and sex might save the day.
It's kind of amazing how much of an unmitigated disaster Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire is. This film sees Zack Snyder cater to his cult audience by thinning the film out so that he can make an extended cut, which makes no sense given the streaming release. With that in mind, the movie feels lacking in character and engaging plot (most of the movie is just recruiting people). With the numbingly bad action and visuals (from a director who typically produces great visuals), this is a horrible launch for what's supposed to be a grand franchise.
I cannot quite believe how terrible Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire is. It’s audaciously derivative, with every aspect ripped straight from a Film Bro’s list of favourite sci-fi films. The script is bland, contrived, and devoid of nuance, with lengthy chunks of mind-numbing exposition sandwiched between boring action scenes featuring excessive, pointless use of slow motion. Despite all the exposition, every character is woefully undeveloped, giving me no reason to care about them. The only solace lies in knowing that I will not subject myself to the next installment of this prematurely disappointing franchise.
At its worst, Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire is a bad Star Wars rip-off. At its best, it’s a bad The Fifth Element rip-off. Director Zack Snyder’s “original” sci-fi world is devoid of anything remotely unique, shamelessly wearing its influences on its raggedy sleeves. The characters are comically underdeveloped, the world-building is a joke, and the stakes are non-existent. I was at least hoping for some fun spectacle to chew on, but the mediocre effects and tacky cinematography left me extremely disappointed. Rebel Moon is Snyder’s worst film to date and an absolute embarrassment.
In spite of a compelling story and some spectacular visuals, a weak lead performance holds things back from greatness. But enough about The Creator. Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire has all the same issues as that film but exacerbated and with none of the positives. When push comes to shove, I often find myself in the position of defending director Zack Snyder… but this is easily his weakest effort. Rebel Moon is a slog of a film filled with poorly written exposition, wooden performances, and far too much slow motion. I remain in Snyder’s corner, but I cannot defend this film.
Sadly, Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire is a poor man’s Star Wars. This resulted in me being completely uninterested in the stakes at play (which you never feel) because it is full of lifeless and undeveloped characters. Plus, director Zack Snyder intends to release a Snyder cut of the movie, which makes this version feel extremely bogged down and clunky. Overall, this so-called space epic is disjointed and sluggish, leaving me uninterested in a continuation of the story. The sole redeeming quality of this film is that it gives Sofia Boutella, the heroine, a chance to show off her fierceness.