LEMON BORE

Rebel Moon robot

OR BORNE MOLE. OR LONE BOOMER. OR MAYBE JUST REBEL MOON.

‘Yes, I can ride her’ says Tarak in ‘Rebel Moon‘, and at the point we pretty much can tell the writers mean us, the audience, not that unfortunate bear/raven crossover.

The single biggest issue in Rebel Moon is that there isn’t a one character that can ‘Stand And Deliver’. And if we were to go on with the simile – ‘ So what’s the point of robbery when nothing is worth taking? It’s kind of tough to tell a scruff the big mistake he’s making.’

But Adam Ant – whose ‘Prince Charming’ is BTW a lot more developed of a character than the entire cast here! – aside, all the characters in Rebel Moon are copies of copies of copies, and with so many xeroxes the message is but a smudge and no ink is left for any real human depth. Unfortunately, no one had the balls or at least self awareness to pull the plug and reset the story.

Casting itself does the characters no favors. For example, the actor playing Tarak has a certain loinclothed presence, but some presence doesn’t shake it for a film that tries to catch up to (early) Star Wars. Sophia Botella layers on the smoldering, tough chick vibe, but has the charisma of a mountain goat and even though there are places in the world where they fancy the latter, it is not so here. The Son Of Anarchy guy is awfully miscast. As is the habitually overcast Djimon Hounsou.

SO WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE STORY?

In the early part of the movie, the Bennu/Tarak courtship – sorry, taming – scene can’t decide if it is a pod-racing homage, a JJ Abrams flick, the Neverending Story or Gladiator, and that, frankly, is the aesthetic of this entire movie.

At a time when brevity is the soul of charm and wit, Rebel Moon inundates its audience with a ceaseless upchuck of expository monologues. To endure such a verbal cascade is akin to being trapped in a labyrinth of emo poetry Open Mike bars, with no hope of escape.

And even though the story is reportedly inspired by Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai it lacks the scale and intimacy of that story. In a interplanetary world its premise is nonsensical:
The bravest, baddest, boldest and sexiest of fighters in a complex and conflict ridden universe have little more to do than fight for a handful of inconsequential farmers in an inconsequential village on an inconsequential planet. I mean, if that is the case, this world is filthy with brave, badass, bold and sexy fighters to spare for minuscule causes of all kinds, so what makes the bunch we meet that special or interesting at all? Well, that we will never know, because all those special men and women mostly stand in a circle and take turns to riverdance.

WHAT IS GOOD, YOU ASK? WELL, LET’S SEE.

Hamada is kinda cool in a tragic, Greek myth sort of way, albeit not tragic enough to be awarded some dignity as a villain.

The scene with the simple farm girl comforting the robot is gentle and sweet, unusually so for Snyder’s style.

But then, the remainder of the time, the movie oscillates from bad to worse to ridiculous. And more often than not, it percolates into the unintentionally hilarious.

LIKE WHAT, YOU ASK? WELL, LET’S SEE.

In the scene where the General – a once formidable man now a drunkard gladiator(oh, the cliche!) – is hosed down like a mongrel at the Humane Society, the hose is a standard Home Depot issue. How, you ask? Well, there is Home Depot on every planet, that is how.

The film ends with a spear carrying, elk horned robot that had just been walked off of an all robot Midsommar sequel and the Art Department didn’t have the budget to change its outfit. Just kidding. Or are we?

There is a big baddie of a guy in a crisp white shirt and a black tie. A baddie, who is general of an intergalactic empire, a fantastic world somewhere far in space?! No joke. The only thing missing are the pens in the shirt pocket to complete the Wall Street broker/Michael-Douglas-in-Falling-Down crossover. Art Department not only shops at Home Depot but it also hearts Brioni.

AND THERE ARE THE TROPES AND HOKEY WOKEY RULES. HERE ARE FEW STALWARTS, PREDICTABLY DULL.

The good guy gets stabbed like 12 times, all fatal, but still manages to kill the baddie.
trope #105

When a man and a woman fight, the woman always wins, regardless of who the adversary is.
woke rule #15

If the bad guy wears a fit shirt, tailored trousers and a black tie, a raggedy minority rebel – insert a type you prefer here – will kill him. Speed and violence of kill will be somewhat proportional to the bad guy’s haircut. The more coiffed, the more gruesome of a death it will be.
woke rule #85

Another English spaceship commander? Come on!
trope #859

Regardless of how much, or how painstakingly the bad guys have built up the outcome of their aggression for 2/3 of the movie, they will be taken down instantly, with utmost ease, by the good fellas.
trope #7

And that’s all, folks. Not much more left to say. Really nothing. This is un-salvageable charred cinematic ratatouille.
Oh, just one more thing perhaps –

‘WHAT HAPPENED TO HONOR?’ ASKS THE MAIN CHARACTER. YES, ZACK SNYDER, WHAT?

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