Zack Snyder at the 2018 AFI Awards

Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’ Dubbed ‘A Total Mockbuster’ By Critics

Home / Entertainment / Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’ Dubbed ‘A Total Mockbuster’ By Critics

By Kristin Myers on December 25, 2023 at 9:00 PM EST

Part one of Zack Snyders “Rebel Moon” is finally here for the holiday season.

The film, which was initially planned as a “Star Wars” movie before creator George Lucas sold Disney the rights to Lucasfilm, is finally streaming on Netflix.

However, is it worth a watch this holiday season? According to Rotten Tomatoes, science fiction fans might be better off sticking to the holiday classics this year.

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Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’ Gets Mixed Reviews From Critics, Audiences

At the time of this writing, “Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire” has a 23% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes but an audience score of 69%.  The synopsis for the film reads:

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“From Zack Snyder, the filmmaker behind 300, Man of Steel, and Army of the Dead, comes REBEL MOON, an epic science-fantasy event decades in the making. When a peaceful colony on the edge of a galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious stranger living among the villagers, becomes their best hope for survival. Tasked with finding trained fighters who will unite with her in making an impossible stand against the Mother World, Kora assembles a small band of warriors -- outsiders, insurgents, peasants, and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. As the shadow of an entire Realm bears down on the unlikeliest of moons, a battle over the fate of a galaxy is waged, and in the process, a new army of heroes is formed.”

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Although the plot does sound very much like “Star Wars,” it is clear that Zack Snyder put his own little twists on the film to make it his own. However, critics were less than impressed with his new take on an old classic.

“Rebel Moon's failure to meet its potential is a shame, as it appeared that Zack copied the answers from the George Lucas test. The lack of originality of the story and characters was shocking to me, considering it’s from a creative mind like Zack,” wrote Elliott Collins from Movie Files.

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“A Child of Fire finds Snyder killing us slowly with relentlessly awful exposition, a marked lack of originality, boilerplate sci-fi characters, plot twists, and betrayals with little dramatic impact and greenscreens greenscreens greenscreens,” echoed John Serba from Decider.

“It’s a total mockbuster: Star Wars but cheaper and — given the man responsible — grimmer and grayer, too,” wrote A.A. Down from Digital Trends.

Brian Lowry of added, “Rebel Moon might look big and splashy, even on a TV screen, but in terms of working as drama, it’s less a rebel yell than a low-key rebel grunt.”

Audiences Seem To Be Far More Forgiving

Although there were some verified audience reviews that called “Rebel Moon” a “cheap Star Wars knock-off,” there were some audience members who enjoyed the film. “Please see this movie for yourself. It’s shot well the action is good and I want to know what happens next. Of course with all Zack Snyder’s movies the visual story is stunning!” wrote user HB.

“Don’t listen to the critics, they are shilling for Disney. The film is an arthouse blockbuster for the ages. This is what it must have felt like seeing Star Wars back in 1977. Grateful to have seen it at The Paris Theater in NYC!” wrote a user named Mikey.

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“Zach Snyder's Star Wars, (coughs) I mean Rebel Moon, this is a good sci-fi film, it's got elements of genre-blending, elements of a Viking/ Norse epic, a Western, Seven Samurai, the Magnificent Seven, and Zacks version of Star Wars. This isn't the same thing as Star Wars it has a different vibe. It is a quality Sci-fi film with a good mature story, it has an epic score,” a user named Jeremiah G wrote.

"Two times I could picture Darth Vader coming into the next scene based on the audio design. The visuals are great. The story is great. I took a road trip to the Bay Theater to see this in theaters and I'm glad I did. I really liked it,” they continued, expressing hopes that an R-rated version will be released in the future.

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Some fans said that they couldn’t wait to watch Part Two of the story, which is currently scheduled for release on April 19, 2024.

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