- Rebel Moon has garnered early praise for its massive scale, beautiful visuals, and exciting set-up for future installments.
- Critics have expressed concerns over the film’s excessive focus on setting up its sequel, resulting in “Part One Syndrome.”
- The film combines elements of action from Justice League with Gladiator and Star Wars, but has a rapid pacing and relies heavily on narration.
As fans eagerly await the release of Zack Snyder’s latest epic sci-fi adventure, Rebel Moon Part One: A Child of Fire, a variety of early reactions are painting a diverse picture of the film. Snyder, known for creating visually stunning movies such as Man of Steel and 300, once again brings his unique style to the big screen in this highly anticipated new film.
Initial impressions from the UK premiere reveal admiration for the grandiosity of the film’s world-building and visual spectacle. One critic, Molly Edwards from GamesRadar+, described the film’s “massive scale, beautiful visuals” and how it’s an “exciting set-up for what’s to come.” However, some believe the film’s focus on preparing for the sequel negatively impacts its ability to stand alone as a complete story.
Another critic, Maria Lattila from Why Now World, commented on the film’s visual aspects but also expressed concerns about what she dubbed “Part One Syndrome.” Similarly, Thomas Michael from The Hollywood Handle celebrated the film’s introduction to a new universe, and showed appreciation for Snyder’s signature moments. Michael went on to tweet:
“It’s big, grand, epic & thriving with mythology, of which we only scratch the surface on here as so much feels yet to be uncovered. Snyder throws heavy love to his own 300  with the action atop sci-fi & fantasy movies of the past with his ambition for the story & world.”
Despite the slow start to establish its expansive universe, critics like Sunny Ramgolam and James Lister appreciated the film’s action sequences and ambitious scope, even if they spotted some flaws. According to Ramgolam:
“#RebelMoon took a while to find its groove, there’s so much to explore and world-build. It excels in action as Snyder knows best and by the end I was on-board. I’m excited for a part 2 and without all the baggage and expectation of the Star Wars series.”
Additionally, an early screening attendee likened the action to Snyder’s work in Justice League, and described the film as a blend of Gladiator, Star Wars, and Justice League in tone. They also mentioned the film’s rapid pacing and dependence on narration.
Rebel Moon, initially a concept for a Star Wars film, follows Sofia Boutella’s character, Kora, as she challenges a tyrannical government. Featuring a diverse cast including Anthony Hopkins, Charlie Hunnam, and Doona Bae, the film is set in a captivating universe. Snyder designed Rebel Moon as a two-part saga with the first installment focusing on character development and the second offering an unexpected cliffhanger.
The first part of Rebel Moon will be released on Netflix in the US on December 21, followed by its UK release on December 22. A limited theatrical release is planned from December 15. The sequel, “The Scargiver,” is set for release on April 19, 2024. Audiences around the world can soon enjoy this visually stunning and richly narrated cosmic adventure.