Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver movie review (2024)

Among other acknowledged influences on the “Rebel Moon” movies, Snyder claims kinship with the graphic-design-forward and stoner-friendly “Heavy Metal” brand of comics, an inspiration that Snyder teases in Martin’s character name (named after Richard Corben’s serialized space-barbarian “Den” comics). I don’t see it, and it’s not because Martin isn’t obviously trying to emphasize the sheer immensity of his emotions. I imagine that Den never lives up to his namesake because of of Snyder’s blunted vision and not Martin or his performance. For supporting evidence, see how often intensity and action figure poses stand in for character and detail in just about everyone else’s performances.

More is often less in “Rebel Moon—Part 2: The Scargiver,” not only when it comes to the movie’s sweaty, vein-activating performances, but also its over-exaggerated and under-choreographed action scenes. Kora and Gunnar’s overblown romance is also defined by bold, sweeping hints at romantic passion, like when he unbelievably confesses to her what motivates him: “It was you. It was losing you.” Never mind the gawky adolescent phrasing and the unbelievably flat line-reading—this gesture towards big-ness exemplifies the Snyder-y style of “Rebel Moon,” a series whose sound design is always more convincing, in both its nuance and sheer volume, than whatever’s on-screen. 

Seeing “Rebel Moon—Part 2: The Scargiver” in a theater would probably be the best way to go, since that way you can hear the movie loud enough to imagine you’re watching something better. Then again, the fact that Netflix produced both movies—their most expensive production of 2023!—and is apparently now releasing at least two cuts per installment, suggests that not many people will be able to see this movie beyond their living rooms. In this light, it’s hard to imagine the necessity of a separate R-rated version of either movie. 

The problem with the “Rebel Moon” movies isn’t that they need to be bigger or heavier to be better. If everything else feels as anemic and negligible as the non-sexual scenes in a floppy, overproduced porno, then I don’t think that adding more of everything will greatly enhance anything.