Rebel Moon is ‘gushing Star Wars fan fiction’

That’s about it, as far as the plot is concerned. One of the film’s flaws is that once Kora has got her ragtag gang together, they don’t do or say anything significant. It’s a waste. The costumes are cool, Boutella has a potent combination of toughness and sexiness, Skrein is enjoyably slimy, and all of the actors do what they can with what they’re given to work with. But nobody has the chance to demonstrate their abilities or personality.

Nothing exciting happens. There are no challenges to meet, no obstacles to overcome, no Death Stars to destroy. Despite the grandiosity of the film’s bombastic tone, the story turns out to be disappointingly minor, presumably because Snyder’s main aim was to introduce the cast and to set the scene for Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver, which is due next year. Part One itself ends up feeling a bit pointless.

Still, there is something strangely endearing about Rebel Moon. It is honest-to-goodness, unashamedly stupid and derivative pulp tosh, and it is so blatantly a work of gushing fan fiction that it makes you want to go back in time to 1977 and shake the young Zack Snyder by the hand. He couldn’t have imagined that somebody would one day give him hundreds of millions of dollars to transfer the scribbles in his notebook to the silver screen, and yet, that is what eventually happened. It’s heartwarming. The film may not be up to much, but the story behind it proves that even the most far-fetched childhood dreams really can come true.

★★☆☆☆

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is in limited cinemas in the US, Canada and the UK from 15 December and streaming on Netflix from 22 December.

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