Rebel Moon–Part Two: The Scargiver Review

Zack Snyder continues his space epic with its second installment, ‘Rebel Moon–Part Two: The
Scargiver’, which picks up where the previous film ended.


The story takes place in a galaxy ruled by the oppressive Motherworld which enforces its
authority through its powerful military known as the Imperium. On the small moon of Veldt, a
farming village is harassed for its grain harvest and gathers a group of mercenaries to help
defend it, making a stand against insurmountable odds and sparking a rebellion that will carry
across the galaxy.

I wasn’t a fan of the first ‘Rebel Moon’ and thought it was boring, pretentious, and derivative, so
I went into this one with absolutely no expectations which no doubt helped me be slightly
surprised that I was actually entertained at times. ‘The Scargiver’ is no great cinematic work, but
at least it’s an improvement on its predecessor, offering some story and character development
to work with.

Make no mistake, it’s far from perfect and does nothing to erase the faults of the previous
movie. It’s shocking that after an entire film we still know so little about the main characters. All
of the backstory could easily have been included in ‘Part One’, giving more time to really get to
know them here and sparing us from a scene where they all sit round the table and tell each
other their life stories.

At least it’s a start though, and you do get to know a bit about them, particularly with Djimon
Hounsou who plays a disgraced Imperium general. Sadly, once again, Anthony Hopkins’ Jimmy
is criminally underused. His character of a robot designed for war who has nothing to fight for
has to be one of the most interesting, but he’s barely in it and you have to ask what’s really the
point of him?

Image: Netflix

There’s also problems with the world being built here. The production design is all over the
place, and switches from ancient northern European village to smart 20th century military, and
then to a strange late 19th century gentility that looks more like ‘Peter Pan’ than sci-fi. It’s all
clearly designed using the “that would look cool” philosophy. It also steals heavily from other
franchises. There’s more than a hint of ‘Star Wars’ in the “definitely not lightsabers” plasma
swords that everyone uses.

Image: Netflix

The main plot is lifted straight from ‘The Magnificent Seven’ with some scenes recreated beat
for beat. It’s also a ridiculous premise that a huge empire would be interested in the small
harvest brought in by a few hundred villagers. There’s no sense in expending so much military
force to capture it, and the idea that they wouldn’t bombard the village because it would destroy
the grain is a flimsy plot device. There’s also a touch of deus ex machina in how the Imperium
forces are finally defeated.

Where ‘Rebel Moon Part Two’ works best is as a straight-up action sci-fi movie, with all the
pretensions of being the next ‘Star Wars’ removed, and just getting down to telling a limited

story in a limited world. It looks good too, with some great visuals and good action set pieces. In
case there was any doubt, Zack Snyder still loves slow motion though, and uses it to excess. Do
we really need to see them threshing the wheat in slow mo? At times it can reveal the gaps in
choreography, too, especially in the sword fight scenes.

There’s nothing really outstanding in this movie. It doesn’t do anything original or adventurous
and the story is nothing new, but as a bit of reasonable entertainment for a couple of hours, it’s
good enough, and at least it’s nowhere near as boring or ponderous as ‘A Child of Fire’.

The question now is whether there’s any life left in this franchise? After two movies, there’s very
little groundwork laid for a solid fictional universe, and none of the characters are interesting
enough to carry a story on their own. Whether or not this is the start of something big or the end
of something small remains to be seen, but really, there’s no need to ever see this world
onscreen again, and as far as I can see, no need for any director’s cuts either.

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