Netflix's new sci-fi blockbuster sequel just landed – with mixed reviews

Return to Rebel Moon

Rebel Moon 2
(Image credit: Netflix)

Filming a movie and its sequel back to back is a bold move. If the first one is a success, fans have a follow-up to enjoy in next to no time. Certainly, for a new franchise, it's a great way to get people invested in the wider world too. But like I said, that requires the first movie to be a success. 

Was Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire a success? That's a tricky one to answer. Critics were not overly impressed, but it definitely found an audience. Director Zak Snyder claims that around 160 million people watched the first film. That's based on his logic of around 90 million 'clicks' on Netflix and an average viewing party of roughly two people). Even with the large budget (over $160 million for both) taken into account, that's still a lot of eyes on the screen. The streaming service has now dropped the follow-up, catchily called Rebel Moon: Part Two - The Scargiver. So is it a step in the right direction?

Well in a a critical sense, the answer seems to be no. At the time of writing it's sitting on a meagre 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. But like I said, the first movie had a similar frosty reception before finding more success with ordinary folk with 58% on the reviews aggregator (compared to a 21% rating with critics). At the time of writing, we don't yet know how popular it is with viewers, but I suspect that history will repeat itself. 

Why? Well, Snyder has a significant fan following, there's an excellent cast (including the voice of Sir Anthony Hopkins) and the film is a visual spectacular that scratches a blockbuster itch. 

Essentially one long battle between Kora (Sofia Boutella), her team and the evil Imperials (pronounced 'Not the Empire from Star Wars') that actually leans into Snyder's strengths as a director. Having worked on the likes of 300, Dawn of the Dead and Army of the Dead, it's clear he knows how to do spectacle. It would just be nice if he could pair that with compelling characters and plot for once. I'm still not over the whole Martha debacle in Batman V Superman. 

In all honesty, if you're not into sci-fi or Snyder then this isn't going to be the movie for you. But if you want something to enjoy on a straightforward level with some snacks, why not? 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.