L Movie Review 2Back in December, former master of the DC universe and lens-flare enthusiast Zack Snyder unleashed Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire on an unsuspecting public to a lukewarm response. His celestial Western was received by fans and critics with the same spirit as a week-old Edible Arrangement: seemingly pleasant from afar, until one realizes the contents are slightly rotten and laden with dozens of itty-bitty bugs. 

Snyder’s wannabe Star Wars saga was at best an incoherent mess as it blended bland characters with a forgettable narrative featuring a cosmic Jane Wick as she gathers intergalactic interlopers with special skills from around the universe to help her battle space Nazis. The names of the characters and the places they visit are thrown at the audience with such speed and force that they fail to make any impact along the way. At times, A Child of Fire felt like watching a beige kaleidoscope of alien shapes and fire blasts. 

But that was then, and this is now. And now, Rebel Moon —Part Two: The Scargiver continues the story of Kora (Sofia Boutella), her right-hand man Gunnar (Michiel Huisman), and their lively bunch of space hobos who have just defeated Admiral Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein) and his galactic goons and are headed back to the farming folk of Veldt, seemingly the only planet in the universe with color variation.

Borrowing heavily from Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, Kora and her cohorts aim to train up the villagers to protect their fair outpost from the dozens of warships that are set to return. But only after spending a large portion of the film slow-motion crop baling in segments that resemble a Dorothea Lange Depression-era photograph come to life. 

So, does Scargiver provide the epic conclusion that Rebel Moon deserves?

Well, no. Mostly because it isn’t a conclusion. Scargiver is just another chapter in the Rebel Moon saga. But also because Scargiver, while better than the first film, is still a mess.

Though the lack of endless planet hopping and rapid-fire character introductions no longer hinder the story, Scargiver is still an overwrought, overdramatic bit of space rubbish with no idea of how to handle pacing and drama. The film is fraught with so many slow-motion sequences it diminishes the action set pieces that Synder is known for. 

However, Scargiver’s overall narrative is better than A Child of Fire due to its limited locations and attempts at character development. This time the audience is given the opportunity to chill with the story and get to know the heroes, even receiving much-needed backstories to help create a connection, regardless if said characters just seem to be Frankenstein-ed from dozens of various savior tropes collected from better movies. 

So while Scargiver is still far from what most people would classify as an exceptional sci-fi flick, its story and character arcs have improved since the first chapter of Rebel Moon. A low bar, but at least the bar isn’t rolling around on the floor as a possible hazard for people to trip over.
















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