Netflix's newly released fantasy epic, 'Rebel Moon', directed by the renowned Zack Snyder (known for '300' and 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'), has quickly ascended to become the streaming giant's top-watched title.
However, its release has not been without controversy, as viewers express dissatisfaction over the film's length and pacing. Released on 21 December, 'Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire' marks the beginning of a two-part saga, with its conclusion set for 2024.
Despite its popularity, the film has faced a barrage of criticism from professional reviewers, including a scathing one-star review from The Independent, labeling it a "borderline incoherent shambles." This sentiment is echoed across various critiques, culminating in a modest 23% on Rotten Tomatoes.
In contrast, audience reception has been more favorable, with a 69% audience score, reflecting the support of Snyder's dedicated fanbase.
Duration Discontent Emerges
However, even amongst ardent supporters, a common grievance emerges: the film's duration.
Viewers have taken to social media to express their belief that 'Rebel Moon' suffers from pacing issues, attributing this to the absence of Snyder's director's cut, which Netflix has opted to withhold for a grand reveal in early 2024.
"I think Netflix holding back a longer — and possibly better — edit really backfired," one viewer commented, mirroring the sentiment of many. Another added, "For me, there were some slight pacing issues, but I imagine those will be more or less fixed in the longer cut."
The only real issue I have with @ZackSnyder's Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is that it was clearly cut down from a longer, weirder, harder rated-R version that cut some characterizations short.
This is such a nitpick from Rebel Moon but it’s been driving me crazy. When the camera moves inside the doorframe here, the grading loses all of its saturation and warmth.
The decision to delay the release of the extended version has not only frustrated viewers but also led to accusations of Netflix's greed and strategic marketing at the expense of artistic integrity.
Watched #RebelMoon twice and it’s gotten better with every viewing. Was a 7/10 the first time and now a strong 8.5/9 the 2nd time.
Tarak’s flight with the bennu is definitely my favorite scene. Gives Man of Steel First Flight vibes for sure. Going for round 3 after the gym. pic.twitter.com/YfCchHFqIz — Tony G (@tonyrene25) December 24, 2023
Forbes also weighed in, suggesting that 'Rebel Moon' might "suffer" due to this approach. Snyder himself has acknowledged the existence of an extended cut, which he describes as "almost like a different movie," tailored for a more mature audience.
In an interview with AP, he stated, "It’s not an ‘extended cut’ of this movie – it's almost a different universe." The film, co-written by Snyder with Kurt Johnstad and Shay Hatten, features a star-studded cast including Sofia Boutella, Djimon Hounsou, and Anthony Hopkins. It revolves around an army of warriors battling the Imperium, a military force threatening a farming colony on a moon.