Rebel Moon minor spoilers follow.
The initial impressions are in for Zack Snyder's Netflix movie Rebel Moon.
The first film in a planned trilogy takes place in a universe controlled by the corrupt Motherworld, where the feared Imperium rules over the galaxy with an iron fist.
One former member of this brutal armed force, Kora (SAS: Rogue Heroes' Sofia Boutella), abandons the Imperium and bands together with rebels from across the galaxy to fight against tyranny.
The ensemble also features Shazam! Fury of the Gods star Djimon Hounsou as rebel general Titus, Sons of Anarchy's Charlie Hunnam as the mercenary Kai and Infinity Pool's Cleopatra Coleman as rebel recruit Devra.
Like most of Zack Snyder's filmography, Rebel Moon has been divisive among those who have seen the film early.
"Okay #RebelMoon is quite simply epic," GamesRadar's Molly Edwards wrote. "Massive scale, beautiful visuals (of course), awesome action, and some really fascinating mythology. There’s lots of exciting set-up for what’s to come, but it’s still very satisfying as its own movie. Jimmy has also stolen my heart."
Insider's Kirsten Acuna described the film as feeling "like a love letter to Star Wars".
"Can def see the nods," she added. "Wanted more of some characters (Djimon Hounsou). Ed Skrein is the scene-stealer in this one."
Critic Sheraz Farooqi said Rebel Moon was "packed with Snyder's visual flair and style" and a "great intro to this universe".
Why Now's Maria Lattila came away with mixed feelings: "Oh, are we allowed to talk about #RebelMoon now? Visually very handsome and flows well but suffers from Part One Syndrome.
"I would be lying if I said I wasn’t keen on The Scargiver now though!"
Others criticised Zack Snyder for focusing more on action than developing the characters in Rebel Moon.
Comic Book Movie's Mark Cassidy explained: "I wish I could say that I loved or even liked #RebelMoon, but after a promising first act, it launches itself off a cliff. Zack Snyder is more concerned with 'cool' action scenes than establishing and ensuring we're invested in his characters."
Film critic Linda Marric took issue with some of the performances: "Rebel Moon, a film in which characters start the film speaking in one accent and end it in a completely different one."
Next Best Picture's Matt Neglia said Rebel Moon left him feeling "detached", adding: "Zack Snyder’s clunky execution makes even the most basic drama feel tedious. Derivative sci-fi with unimpressive slow-mo action and dull characters."
Earlier this year, Snyder revealed that his pitch for Rebel Moon started as a Star Wars movie in the early 2010s before he realised it was better as an original mythology.
"There was that window where, you know, who knows what’s possible?" he recalled. "I was like, ‘I don’t want any of your characters. I don’t want to do anything with any known characters, I just want to do my own thing on the side.’
"And originally I was like, ‘It should be rated R!’ That was almost a non-starter."
Rebel Moon: Part One will be released on Netflix on December 22, Part Two: The Scargiver will premiere April 19, 2024.
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