CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD.
There is no nice way of putting it. Rebel Moon is terrible. But not terrible for the reasons that most people have noticed. After being out for a little less than two weeks, most people have panned the movie for what it is. A sloppy, copy and paste job of some of the most popular science fiction franchises. However, Rebel Moon is far more problematic than that. It goes beyond common sci-fi tropes. It mashes together nearly every successful genre possible in hopes of appealing to the majority people. In doing this, it is everything and nothing at once.
As bad as Rebel Moon is, the worst part is that it was not, as far as the viewing public knows, written by an artificial intelligence algorithm. Yet, despite this, it comes off as a movie ripped from the pages of a generative AI.
What’s the conflict? A rebel faction fighting against an empire. Check.
What’s the name of the empire? The Galactic Empire. Stunningly original.
Who are the rebel’s supporters? Space vikings. Yes, space vikings because vikings were farmers first. Also, the aesthetic of the villagers is practically straight from any viking/norse movie of the last decade. An escaped soldier. A random pilot. A vague, non-white guy named Tarak that can tame animals by speaking with them. Just ignore that bit of racism. Not to be confused with Turok, the Dinosaur Hunter. What does Tarak tame? A black hippogriffin. I’m not even a fan of Harry Potter, and this thing made me cringe. An enslaved general that has lost all of his men named Maximus. I mean Titus. Sorry, wrong movie. And last but not least, a sword master cyborg lady that saves the Fellowship from a scary spider creature in the depths of darkness. Sorry if I missed any of the other SPAM fried tropes baked into this mess. I started to zone out after a while to figure out if they’re was at least a salvageable storyline to follow.
Who are the rebels fighting? Oh, you know the usual Soviet aestheticed, fascistic, Peaky Blinder Admiral, and his fantical horde of Warhammer 40K infused, Necromongeresk cronies. A general turned senator who wants to reconstitute the Galactic Empire.
But none of this story salad is the real problem with Rebel Moon. The real problem is that this is the way most executives want to go with entertainment in the future. They want artists to make the most bland entertainment possible in the future, so long as it gets people to show up for views, fill theaters, or gets books off the shelf. They don’t care if the work has any soul, so long as their shareholders get their returns and profits go up.
This shouldn't come as a surprise, this has been going on since the beginning of the film industry. Think about it. Most of the early successes, and often most popular films are adaptations of previous works. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was Walt Disney’s first successful motion picture. Seventy percent of the top ten highest-grossing films of all time are based on works that originated outside of the film industry. This is why Rebel Moon is not just a terrible movie. A script so bad that the House of Mouse saw no hope. No, it is but the tip of a horrid iceberg rushing towards us. A prophetic vision of a future where we’re told everything is awesome, while being shoveled the most nauseating nonsense to consume in our meager down time between being overworked and underpaid.
That is the true crime that Rebel Moon has committed. So, buckle up and grab a bucket of popcorn, we’re in for a bumpy ride in the future of entertainment.
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