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Rebel Moon Part One review: Zack Snyder delivers a soulless dud:

Attempting to establish an original, engrossing science-fiction world is no small task, even for the most adept of writers, and it’s painfully clear that Snyder took heavy aesthetic and stylistic notes from genre classics like Star Wars and Dune, without understanding the story and emotional beats that made those aforementioned franchises so beloved. Certainly, there’s all manner of science-fiction spectacle in Rebel Moon to gawk at: the characters are all dressed in tattered greyscale robes, wielding retrofuturist weapons and talking about the “Motherworld” and the “Imperium.”

But while every element of production design, costuming, and worldbuilding is certainly specific, none of them are inspired or purposeful. Instead, Rebel Moon’s stylistic sensibilities feel like Snyder simply tossed all the sci-fi greats into a blender and called it a day. Extensive attention is paid to plotting out lore and history, but Snyder forgets to flesh out the characters that populate his meticulously detailed universe.

So basically, Snyder has created the movie equivalent of every 500-page sci-fi/fantasy novel littering the shelves of bookstores for the ten years, in which the author wraps the same tedious wish-fulfillment plot in layer upon layer of magical mumbo-jumbo, a byzantine cast of characters, and made-up history to distract the reader from noticing that the story and characters are an inch deep.

Whoever came up with the whole idea of “world-building” really has a lot to answer for.

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