Rebel Moon Part 2 Review: The Scargiver to Zack Snyder’s Legacy

The concept of a Galactic Empire is not new to us, we’ve seen it make its way throughout time with different projects. The absolute pinnacle of this concept is what we first witnessed in Star Wars close to 50 years ago. However, in 2023, Zack Snyder introduced us to his version of a tyrannical galactic empire with Rebel Moon: A Child of Fire. His vision was admirable, however, the execution turned out to be a failure. Now, in 2024, Snyder attempts to redeem himself with the sequel, Rebel Moon: The Scargiver, but has it been a success at reinstituting the legacy of Zack Snyder? Let’s find out in this Rebel Moon Part 2 review.

Rebel Moon Part One shows us a fugitive of the Empire, Kora who has taken refuge on the farming planet of Veldt. But when the safety of this planet is threatened by a fleet under the command of Admiral Atticus Noble, she sets out on a mission to find warriors who hold a grudge against the empire to fight Noble and his army. However, Kora manages to kill Noble before he can set foot on Veldt but by the end of the first movie, we get to know that Noble is not dead.

The Good

Rebel Moon Part 2 Review: The Scargiver to Zack Snyder’s Legacy
Image Courtesy: Rebel Moon Wiki

Rebel Moon Part 2 starts with a scene showing us the revival of Admiral Noble by the medical team of The King’s Gaze. The first words he utters as soon as he is revived are, “Set Corse for Veldt. The Scargiver is on Veldt.” In the whole two hours of this movie, the best performance was delivered by Ed Skrein as Admiral Noble. The presence, the villainous mannerisms, the psychopathic look he emulated in his eyes, and the dialogue delivery surpass everyone else in the movie.

Another character who could have been an absolute delight was Anthony Hopkins as Jimmy, the sentient robot. For the time he appears in the movie, he makes his presence felt. I can only imagine if he had more screen time what an epic experience it could have been. but for some reason, Snyder chose to give him less than 10 minutes of screen time.

Moving on, when the news of the incoming invasion reaches Veldt, the farmers decide to harvest their crops and use them as a shield. Since the goal of Admiral Noble is to take their harvest, he would not want to destroy them, hence, giving Kora, her warriors, and the farmers a strategic upper hand.

If we look at the scene where the harvesting is being done, the cinematography is outright beautiful with a well-placed music score. The excess of slo-mo scenes during the harvest do muddle the whole experience a bit, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. In my opinion, Snyder did consider the backlash he received and improved the visual and musical appeal of the movie. However, in the midst of it, Zack Snyder forgot to work on the story it seems, much like the first part.

The Bad

Image Courtesy: IMDb

After all this, the war began, and again, what was supposed to be the highlight of this movie turned out to be mediocre. Okay, I do understand the fact that the heroes will suffer when being hopelessly outnumbered but killing Nemesis, the katana-wielding badass, in the first 10 minutes of the war is outright comical. She was introduced to viewers as the fiercest swordswoman in the galaxy, and three soldiers overpowered her in a fight. Seriously? The developing chemistry between her and the young child was left hanging in the middle as well. If Snyder wanted to kill her off that quickly, what was the point of showing us hope for her redemption? That does not make any sense at all.

Not just this, General Titus, a decorated and experienced soldier, is shown quite literally turning his back towards enemy fire and, miraculously, does not even get scratched. It seems as if Stormtroopers now have some competition. The battle sequences are very predictable, but what disappointed me the most was how predictable the death of Admiral Nobel was.

As Noble was strangling Kora with that lightsaber-doppelganger sword in the background, I knew Gunnar would grab it and stab Noble in his back, and guess what, that is exactly what happened in Rebel Moon Part Two. Moreover, the most important thing of all is that the movie fails to justify its title. The movie is titled “The Scargiver” but why is Kora called The Scargiver is still a mystery Zack Snyder left for us to solve.

If you think the mess of Rebel Moon Part 2 ends here, you would be as wrong as Snyder was when he thought we were going to love The Scargiver. Okay, so we do know that Atticus Noble was not the main antagonist but just a pawn of a mastermind named General Balisarious. However, after appearing for less than two minutes in the first movie, he is nowhere to be seen in this movie. At least not in his current avatar. He makes a brief appearance in a flashback.

Why that is the case is beyond me. I mean if we know who the big bad guy is, why can’t we see him? Imagine watching Star Wars with no Darth Vader, it would suck, wouldn’t it?

And The Ugly

Image Courtesy: IMDb

Now, let’s talk about the biggest issue I have with Rebel Moon Part 2, the Princess Issa. Okay, so everything we have seen so far revolves entirely around the death of the King, Queen, and most importantly, the princess with the gift of healing. The whole arc of Kora, the prevailing ideology of “The Slain King” everything comes down to the death of this princess.

Now, guess what does General Titus says by the end of Rebel Moon 2? “The Princess is still alive.” I mean, excuse me? So what was all this for? Why did that poor farmer have to take a shot in the head if the darn princess was still alive? This just makes the story so irrelevant because the driving motive of Kora, revenge is canceled out completely. Moreover, as viewers, we all went in thinking we would get answers to the mysteries from Part One, but no, most of them remain unanswered. Zack Snyder said that the director’s cut releasing in August will answer all our questions; hopefully, I guess.

Now, coming to the final aspect of Rebel Moon Part Two, the characters. Kora is essentially what Luke Skywalker would be if you took away his emotions, and presence and gave him a permanently frowned face. The character of Kora remains as lifeless as it was in the first movie. The only time she shows a shift in expressions is when Gunnar dies but other than that her expressions remain fixated to just frowning.

General Titus, on the other hand, was portrayed in a much better light and depth, so a cookie point for that. However, when it comes to Nemesis, a character who singlehandedly stood her ground against a giant spider monster, was nerfed completely in Rebel Moon 2. Zack Snyder was like, “Can she kill a monster 10 times her size? Yes; can she fend for herself against three soldiers; Nah.”

So, Mr. Snyder, I’m taking back my cookie point. The same goes for Jimmy, if his character was given more depth and screen time he could turn out to be a character for whom people may watch this movie and the other six sequels he is planning to make, but it seems that Zack Snyder does not like dollar bills much.

On a concluding note, did Rebel Moon Part 2 fix what was wrong with Rebel Moon 1? Yes, it did, but not what needed to be fixed. Rebel Moon’s main drawback was the story that did not seem to be very well bound together. The VFX and other aspects needed fixing, but we would have overlooked it if the story was able to connect to us and give us something we had not seen a million times before.

Rebel Moon: The Scargiver has all the elements of a Zack Snyder movie, the cinematography, the musical score, and the slow-motion effects, but it lacks the most important thing of all, the soul that reaches out to the people and makes them live a movie and truly experience it. So, in my opinion, The Scargiver is definitely a scar to Zack Snyder’s legacy.

Pros and Cons
The Pros
Well executed Cinematography
Much better VFX than the first movie
An outstanding musical score
The Cons
A half-baked story, lacks depth
Lacks uniqueness overall
Character development is zero to little
Final Verdict
Overall Rating
Rebel Moon Part 2 might be visually stunning movie but it has failed to tap into into the hearts of the audience. This movie does not do justice to the promises made by Zack Snyder before the movie came out and still lacks a tightly knit storyline. The plot holes of this movie are gigantic, which makes the whole story collapse on itself. Characters that were supposed to be powerful were nerfed, developing chemistries were abandoned, and the movie lacked soul.
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