A woman with large horns in Netflix and Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon.

‘Rebel Moon’ Proves That Zack Snyder Needs To Grow Up, and I Say That With Love

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire has been marinating on Netflix for some time now, and I’ll be the first to say that I was crossing my fingers for something at least resembling a home run. But alas, it wasn’t to be.

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Sure, it would have given the infamously obnoxious Snyder cult some more ammunition, but more good movies is a win for everybody. Sadly, whatever remotely interesting set dressing Zack Snyder cooked up here was woefully undermined by incoherent storytelling at its most relentless and suffocating character development—nay, the bare essentials of characterization—behind a mountain of formulaic sci-fi battles and dialogue that not even an amateur could be proud of.

Indeed, Rebel Moon is proof in the pudding that Snyder has some serious work to do, and that’s a damn shame, because the nature of his raw creative pursuits is stupendously important in the genres he occupies, which perhaps makes his failures all the more depressing.

Say what you will about the overall execution of some of his work, but there’s no denying that Snyder is someone who likes to have fun in the genre fiction realm. A heist in the middle of a zombie apocalypse with an undead tiger hunting down the heroes? Sign me up! Even Sucker Punch, which a dear friend of mine has aptly characterized as “incel Powerpuff Girls,” boasts a trove of fun-on-paper concepts once you strip away all the filth.

And therein lies the problem: Snyder may noticeably enjoy being creative, but his sheer lack of creative discipline and tact will keep him from even brushing his full potential. It’s simply not enough to string together random action sequences and slo-mo frames with brutally empty exposition and expect people to take your work seriously. In the overwhelming majority of cases, a writer needs to really buckle down and put their script through hell and back to make sure that whatever story they intend to tell is ultimately worth telling, and a solid final draft combined with Snyder’s wacky imagination would no doubt be the stuff of dreams.

But maybe Snyder isn’t interested in storytelling, and is committed to the “rule of cool” to a fault, and frankly, that’s all good and fine. But, if that is the case, then the filmmaking resources at Snyder’s disposal should go to someone who would actually honor such privileges in the form of a movie worth watching, because if Netflix is choosing to shell out all that cash for flashy dumpster fires like Rebel Moon, the implied precedent being set is a scary one indeed.

(featured image: Clay Enos/Netflix)

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Charlotte Simmons
Charlotte is a freelance writer at The Mary Sue and We Got This Covered. She's been writing professionally since 2018 (a year before she completed her English and Journalism degrees at St. Thomas University), and is likely to exert herself if given the chance to write about film or video games.