Because of its production history with Lucasfilm, Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire has had a lot of comparisons to Star Wars. How is it on its own as film, though?
Rebel Moon stars Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) as Kora, a young farmer with a mysterious past who embarks on a journey to recruit various warriors (Djimon Hounsou, Ray Fisher, Bae Doona) across the galaxy to help save her small village from the evil Motherworld, an empire hellbent on dominating the galaxy. Sound familiar? It should, because Rebel Moon is exactly what it sounds like: Seven Samurai meets Star Wars, Zack Snyder style.
I really enjoyed Rebel Moon ! I had a lot of fun with it as a Star Wars fan because this film is basically Star Wars. I knew that would sort of be the case going in, because I was aware that the film began its life as Zack Snyder's potential foray into the Star Wars universe. Everything one would expect from a Star Wars film can be found in Rebel Moon, from bar scenes with strange aliens, to Akira Kurosawa references, to farmers becoming rebels standing against an evil empire. Rebel Moon is all very cliché, but that's not always a bad thing. The story told here and in Star Wars and Seven Samurai is a timeless, infinitely important one. It's the classic story of good versus evil. The lesson of that story is that by standing together and believing in one's cause and each other, no matter how bleak things may seem, good will always triumph over evil. We need these kinds of stories every once in a while to remind us of the power of hope, friendship, goodness, and that we should always fight for what we believe in.
Despite being very cliché, I was very interested in the world Zack Snyder has built here and look forward to him exploring more of it and the intriguing characters that inhabit it. Many of the characters weren't all that well developed, so I hope to see more of them in sequels or other media, as Star Wars often does.
Like any Zack Snyder film, Rebel Moon - Part One is a visually stunning one. Snyder himself was the Director of Photography here, and he trule showed off his talent with some very gorgeous cinematography. The costumes, makeup, props, and effects are all incredibly beautiful too. Everything feels very real and tangible. My favorite scene in the film is the introduction of Nemesis, played by Bae Doona (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance). It's a fantastically thrilling sequence filled with powerful visuals. Hopefully these two films will be shown in cinemas one day!
Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire is far from a perfect film, but it is a highly enjoyable one, especially if you are a fan of Star Wars, Seven Samurai, and of course, the work of Zack Snyder. It's highly cliche and uses very well-known tropes that viewers, especially Star Wars fans, will be more than familiar with. While not quite Dune, it is a beautiful looking film that believably crafts an exciting new sci-fi universe from Snyder. In spite of a few gripes, I'm really looking forward to Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver!
You can watch Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire on Netflix right now, with Part Two releasing on April 19, 2024!