"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Rebel Moon, Part 2: The Robot and the Freshness

Just saw Rebel Moon, Part 2, on Netflix the other night.  I enjoyed it.  For some reason, my favorite character was the robot, JC-1435, aka James or Jimmy.

I'm not sure what that says about this second part of the movie (which, based on the ending, may well be the beginning of a series of two-part or one-part movies in a saga that now feels to me much more like Dune than Star Wars).  Maybe it's the antlers on Jimmy's head.  Maybe it's the voice -- you can't go wrong with Anthony Hopkins doing the voicing of anything.  But all in all, James conveyed a sensitivity that's rarely seen in robots or androids in movies or TV series, and which in its own way had a subtlety that even Data in Star Trek: TNG seldom quite achieved.

The battles were good and exciting, strong edge-of-your seat stuff.  The villains, however, often verged on cartoonish.   The heroes had more subtlety, and maybe that's because there were more of them than the villains.  I won't warn you about spoilers, because there won't be anything specific in this review, but I will say that this part of the movie which I hope will be a series concluded with fewer heroes than it had at the beginning.

Yeah, I hope we'll see more.  I like looking at the state of the human species at times like these, when we've gone way out into the cosmos, and met other intelligent beings, some of them now deadly foes, others of them loyal friends.  The problem with both Star Wars and Dune, and we can add Foundation to this list,  is that if we've done any reading or watching, we already know who the major characters are and who they will be.  Sometimes we even care about them so much, we don't like it if they're substantially changed in the new treatment (or at least, I feel that way).  But Rebel Moon, even though it deals with very well worn tropes, has a winning freshness and relevance to it.  The heroes in Rebel Moon, when they're not fighting Nazis, are harvesting grain.  Just like they do in Ukraine.

And that's why I'm totally aboard to see more.

See also: Red Moon, Part 1: Galactic Heroes and Villains

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