It’s Christmas weekend, and Hollywood still has gifts to give. This weekend saw the release of two big sci-fi epics, both of which are unified by their connection to filmmaker Zack Snyder, who previously spearheaded the DC Extended Universe.
Spoilers of the Week: July 29th
In the first corner, we’ve got Netflix’s Rebel Moon. Directed by Snyder (who also produced and co-wrote), the film stars Sofia Boutella as the former soldier of an evil galactic empire who goes looking for warriors to defend her planet when said empire comes invading. With an ensemble cast consisting of Djimon Honsou, Charlie Hunnam, Doona Bae, and Anthony Hopkins, the movie is unashamedly a sci-fi riff on Seven Samurai. (And also Star Wars, since Snyder originally wanted to make a movie for that franchise.) For the most part, the movie’s reception has been rough; while Snyder remains one of our best visual directors, there’s been a lot of criticism thrown at the lack of characterization, being especially derivative, and lacking the general oomph of its filmmaker’s previous work. Many of these issues may be resolved in the upcoming R-rated director’s cut, which is set to drop early next year ahead of the release for the second installment.
And over here on the right, we have the returning DC hero Aquaman. Five years after his solo movie, Jason Momoa gets another swim at the character with Aquaman & the Lost Kingdom. As the for real final DCEU film, Lost Kingdom should feel like a bigger deal, but it…really isn’t. Its reception has been slightly stronger than Rebel Moon, but there’s also an open acknowledgement that it’s not quite as fun as its direct predecessor. Whether because there’s been so many DCEU movies this year or it’s been known all year that things were winding down, Lost Kingdom feels like it’s closing its mothership franchise with a whimper instead of a big, splashy bang. Even Momoa said ahead of release that this is basically the end for him, though he’ll likely crop up in future movies as a different character.
Let us know what you think of either film you saw in the comments below.
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