The Reviews For Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’ Are A Bloodbath: ‘It’s The Cinematic Equivalent Of An NFT’

The reviews are in for the first installment in Zack Snyder‘s sci-fi epic, Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire, and they are not pretty. The filmmaker has been open about how the project evolved from a Star Wars pitch to Lucasfilm, but the consensus seems to be that Rebel Moon did not evolve enough.

The film is currently sitting at 19% on Rotten Tomatoes as critics are not enjoying Snyder’s attempt at space opera that is heavy on stylistic choices, but completely empty when it comes to story and characters. Plus it overly apes Star Wars to the point where some reviews are blasting Rebel Moon as an example of AI screenwriting.

You can see what the critics are saying below:

Owen Gleiberman, Variety:

“Rebel Moon” isn’t based on anything; it’s a complete original. Yet in another sense it’s based on about twelve things. It’s “Stars Wars” meets “Guardians of the Galaxy” meets “The Lord of the Rings” meets “Black Panther,” all smelted down and reduced to a highly edible sauce of overfamiliar tropes, minus any semblance of a sense of humor. Movies this derivative, in my view, are inherently uncool, but you could argue that what’s almost cool about “Rebel Moon” is that it’s so unabashedly a gloss on only the 1977 “Star Wars.”

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter:

Snyder never met a superhero team roundup he didn’t love, and although he’s put aside capes and spandex for rugged galactic garb, the screenplay he co-wrote with Kurt Johnstad and Shay Hatten plays like the result of someone feeding Seven Samurai and Star Wars into AI scriptwriting software.

David Ehrlich, IndieWire:

Snyder lacks the skill to establish meaningful relationships between any of the five zillion different elements he’s borrowed from better films, and he lacks the imagination to inject even a single one of them with a lifeforce of its own. The result is (the first half of) a singularly torturous slog that tries — and fails, and fails, and fails again for 134 minutes of agonizing tedium that are only interrupted by the occasional jolt of sadness for the wasted talent of everyone involved — to distill an iota of creative value from pre-existing images that never seemed worthless until Snyder tried to make them unique. It’s the cinematic equivalent of an NFT.

Valerie Complex, Deadline:

The storytelling is linear and, at times, tediously predictable. The characters lack depth and undergo little development, making it difficult for the audience to invest emotionally in their journey. The film’s reliance on slow motion, a stylistic hallmark of Snyder’s earlier works, feels antiquated and distracting. Rather than enhancing the action sequences, it often serves to obscure them, suggesting an attempt to mask possible flaws in direction and choreography.

Charles Bramesco, The Guardian:

In film school, some professors use the familiar example of Star Wars to teach Campbellian mythmaking, the theories that identify and codify the narrative units re-contextualized since Grecian times. Snyder demonstrates a clear fluency in these concepts with his classically minded scripting, except he forgot the part where the archetypes are meant to be refreshed through novel contexts.

Kristy Puchko, Mashable:

Snyder just heaps in other influences, ranging from the spear-versus-spaceship play of Avatar to the names in Legend of Korra to the fashion of Vampire Hunter D and the psycho-sexual tube-play of 1984’s Dune. And while the too-muchness of all that might have made for an exciting and rich pastiche, there’s so little connective tissue between these things that Snyder’s vision instead feels like a lazy collage, stealing from richer, original genre works.

Nicholas Barber, BBC:

Rebel Moon is recognisably the work of the man who directed 300, Watchmen, Man of Steel and Justice League, and so, compared to the authorised Star Wars films, it has more blood, more swearing, more semi-nudity and more threats of sexual assault. There are more lens flares, more slow-motion action sequences, more shades of brown in the murky colour palette, and a lot more clumsy, expository speeches.

Simon Abrams,

As usual, Snyder doesn’t seem to care about these characters so much as he likes their style guide features, like their cleavage, their haircuts, and their hard-stressed accents. Some actors, like Hunnam and Stoll, dig in with both hands, but not everyone fares as well with dialogue that never stops expositing even as matte-painting replica landscape shots threaten to swallow up whoever’s pushing the plot this time around.

Kyle Wilson, Polygon:

It would be great to report that the first installment, Rebel Moon Part One: A Child of Fire, heralded a bold new sci-fi epic storming onto the scene. But everyone but the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut fanboys would be better off immediately ejecting this turgid whimper of a movie into the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire starts streaming December 22 on Netflix.