Rebel Moon: worse than watching paint dry
People should stop giving Zack Snyder money.
If you have two hours to spare, its more useful and entertaining to watch paint dry. Or to watch the mating rituals of a common housefly.
A vapid, empty slog of a movie from a director who has been drinking the cool-aid of unwarranted fan adoraton for far too long.
Here's the full breakdown of Rebel Moon:
- 1 hour 20 minutes of heavy-handed exposition, replete with flashbacks
- 20 minutes of gratuitous slow motion
- 20 minutes of plot
- 5 minutes of establishing shots
The plot, whatever plot there is, goes as follows: our heroine is a fugitive in a tiny remote village on a remote planet. She witnesses an imperial admiral of an unassailable imperial frigate personally come down and shakedown the village for grain. Then she saves a local girl by growing a consciousness and revealing she is a formidable assassin in the process, decides to recruit rebels to their cause despite having no money or resources, randomly finds a convenient guy who knows all the best fighters, goes on a few sidequests, recruits those fighters, then recruites half of rebels, and then gets most of them killed. The end.
It takes the movie a full hour to get to "goes on sidequests". Yes, a full hour is spent in the remote village being shaken down by the evil imperial admiral who is an evil admiral at the head of evil imperial soldiers. Who are evil.
I want to say that the rest of the movie is crammed into the remaining hour. But, despite the seemingly many things that are happening, the remaining movie crawls along with all the grace and agility of a senile arthritic snail.
Ed Skrein is trying his best to act through the lines written by a fifth-grader for the clinically inept. The rest of the cast is only there to collect their paychecks and go home.
Ed Skrein as an imperial admiral on a mission to take down a dangerous rebel faction personally shaking down a village for some grain. Yes, it is as stupid as it sounds
Charlie Hunnam asking where the exit is
The characters... I couldn't tell you what the characters are, what their motivations are, or why we should care for them for more than a nanosecond even if my life depended on it.
Even though the characters are narrating their own expositions for about an hour of total runtime, the only one that has any actual character to them is an android. The androids entire storyline? About 5 minutes sometime at the 30 minute mark. 5 minutes of exposition, mind you. Total relevance of the android to the plot? Zero.
He sure made it into trailers though. This entire shot is about 5 seconds at the end of the movie. Looks like for Sir Anthony Hopkins (who voices the android) 20 dollars is 20 dollars.
Note how almost nothing is in focus in this 100% digital image? I'll talk about it shortly.
Visually this could be a very striking movie. However, Zack Snyder seems to be unable to pass an oportunity to turn everything into his own branded version of the intangible sludge.
Is this a flashback to an imperial palace, a flashback to an imperial military vessel, a scene in the village, a scene on an industrial world, or a scene in a port?
The answer is yes.
That said, Zack Snyder remains one of the few modern directors who manage to light a dark room so that you see every character, every face, and every emotion of that face (most of the time, and however little emotion there is).
And then there's Zack Snyder's signature camerawork with the extremely ultra shallow depth of field. This scene is a great example. Two unmoving static characters are standing in the same plane and talking to each other. One of them is 100% CGI:
Let's zoom in on this $166 million-dollar movie:
And this happens all. the. time.
All in all, Rebel Moon. Part 1: A Child of Fire is an utter waste of everyone's time. Given that this was an idea 30 years in the thinking and 10 years in the making that is supposedly lifted directly from Seven Samurai, this only serves as further proof that people should stop giving Znack Snyder money for his vanity projects. After all, Tommy Wiseau financed The Room. Zack Snyder should finance his own ineptitude, too.