The critical consensus for Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon has been mixed to negative, indicating the ongoing controversy and heated conversation surrounding Snyder's work.
The tone of many reviews for Rebel Moon is aggressive, bitter, and mean-spirited, surpassing even infamously terrible sci-fi films.
The reception to Rebel Moon may be influenced by the lingering scars among Snyder's fanbase and detractors from the unfinished SnyderVerse and the release of the Snyder Cut.
If you’ve had a look at the Rotten Tomatoes page for Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon, you’ll quickly notice that the critical consensus has been mixed to negative for Snyder’s new sci-fi epic. Considering the famously divisive nature of Snyder’s filmography at least as far back as 300, that’s not altogether surprising, but the reviews and larger discussion of Rebel Moon are indicative of something bigger and much more troubling. Put simply, the sheer hostility found in the tone of many of the professional reviews for Rebel Moon is further proof that the controversy, consternation, and frequently heated conversation around the Snyder Cut campaign and the eventual release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League has not become more level-headed with time.
Though Snyder has since been occupied with his non-DC projects at Netflix, interest in his unproduced Justice League sequels has done anything but peter out, with fans continuing to show enthusiasm for Snyder completing his intended story with hashtags like #RestoreTheSnyderVerse and #SellSnyderVerseToNetflix. While debates over Snyder’s DCEU story are sure to continue for years to come – with or without a restoration, selling, or completion of the SnyderVerse – one thing that has become increasingly unavoidable is the sheer degree of snark, anger, and spitefulness to be found whenever Snyder’s name arises in the media. Indeed, the discussion of all things Zack Snyder has only become more rabid and acidic with the release of Rebel Moon.
The tone of many of Rebel Moon’s reviews often comes across as aggressive, bitter, mean-spirited, and just downright nasty. It’s perfectly reasonable not to like Rebel Moon or to have a general distaste for Zack Snyder’s directorial sensibilities, but the reception to Rebel Moon comes across as far more vindictive and hostile than that of even infamously terrible sci-fi duds like Battlefield Earth. It may be worth asking if the lingering scars among both Snyder’s fanbase over the DC SnyderVerse being left unfinished and his detractors that the Snyder Cut was released at all have bled into Rebel Moon and Snyder’s non-DC work. Moreover, what exactly does that say about the state of DC on film and how much it has come to be dominated by the war over whether to restore or move on from the SnyderVerse?
The way in which Warner Bros. themselves handled (or rather mishandled) the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League has a lot to do with that. On top of the horrific behind-the-scenes situation of Justice League, WB showed the most stubborn attitude possible to the strong reception of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. An interview with WB’s then-CEO Ann Sarnoff shut down the idea of Snyder completing his saga or the release of David Ayer’s cut of Suicide Squad just days after the movie’s release, while the studio also ignored an explosion of enthusiasm for Snyder’s arc being finished, as seen in 1.5 million #RestoreTheSnyderVerse tweets in one day on March 25, 2021.
A ragtag fanbase determined to see a director’s original vision combined with a sceptical media landscape effectively created the often acrid online discourse around the Snyder Cut and Snyder’s entire body of work. If the reviews of Rebel Moon (at least its first cut – the jury’s still out on Rebel Moon’s own forthcoming Snyder Cut) are an indication of anything, it’s just how many feathers Snyder’s fanbase ruffled in the entertainment industry, journalism, and even lay fandom by getting the Snyder Cut released. How else to explain a recent Variety article covering the pending public domain status of DC characters a decade hence, in which the author takes aggressive shots at Snyder’s intended five-part Justice League arc in the article’s opening?
DC Studios might be planning a whole new DC Universe under James Gunn and Peter Safran, but the shadow of Zack Snyder’s DC films remains impossible for the IP and the studio to get away from, and not just because of Snyder’s fans eager to see his story through. Even with the Rebel Moon universe beginning, the wounds of Zack Snyder’s Justice League are clearly still fresh with how much even Rebel Moon is getting pulled into the DC SnyderVerse wars. The odds certainly don’t seem to favour all of that finally subsiding in time for Superman: Legacy.
Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire
When a peaceful settlement on the edge of a distant moon finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, a mysterious stranger living among its villagers becomes their best hope for survival.
Studio: The Stone Quarry, Grand Electric
Running Time: 2h 13m
Release Date: December 15, 2023 (United States); December 22, 2023 (Netflix)
Cast: Sofia Boutella, Djimon Hounsou, Ed Skrein, Michiel Huisman, Doona Bae, Ray Fisher, Charlie Hunnam, Anthony Hopkins
Brad Curran is a dedicated writer from the United States with a love of all things nerdy. Brad’s interests range from action and martial arts flicks to superhero movies from both the DC and Marvel universes, to horror movies and sci-fi epics, with all of his interests united by his innate love of adventure.
Since 2013, Brad has brought his deep love for and experience with martial arts to his work with Kung Fu Kingdom, where he has covered everything from movies and TV to training and interviews with stars likes Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, Jackie Chan, Joe Taslim, and Shannon Lee, to name just a few. Brad also expanded his career in entertainment journalism in his work with as a features writer for Screen Rant, where Brad brought his skill as on a range of topics like superheroes, the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise, and the history making story of the Snyder Cut. Brad also utilized his skill as an interviewer to his work with Screen Rant, where his interview resume includes big stars like Frank Grillo, Gerard Butler, Dante Basco, Janet Varney, Annette O’Toole, Dolph Lundgren, and many others.
Most importantly of all, Brad also considers Raul Julia’s M. Bison to be the most quotable movie character of all time, bar none.