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Director Zack Snyder thought the first part of his big-budget space opera was unfairly slammed by critics – but sadly, it was actually better than his final part.

Child of Fire was probably harshly treated, but his second instalment, The Scargiver, does deserve to be widely-panned, because it’s as generically paint-by-numbers as they come.

At least this one is shorter, as this continues with Sofia Boutella’s warrior Kora and her band of fighters – Titus (Djimon Hounsou), Tarak (Staz Nair), Nemesis (Doona Bae), Milius (Elise Duffy) and Gunnar (Michiel Huisman) – returning to the grain-rich farming moon of Veldt, seemingly thinking they’d killed off Ed Skrein’s war captain Atticus Noble.

But alas, they had not, and after being brought back to life, he seeks vengeance.

Which leads to him bringing his elite Motherworld army to Kora’s homeworld of Veldt, to uplift the harvest – and destroy everyone on it.

Cue the villagers being trained for battle – seen a million times from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves to The Magnificent Seven to The Lord of the Rings – and this two-hour movie is basically all about the inevitable final battle.

After all the warriors have sat around a burning fire to tell us all their back stories and reasoning for redemption, that is. This really is a bit of a disjointed mess.

Admittedly the final large-scale conflict is passably watchable for those wanting to ‘leave their brains at the door’ – with a couple of clever action sequences – but this all pans out as predictably as expected.

Which with Snyder hoping his ‘Star Wars’ would lead to a wider ‘Snyder-verse’ – now looks more and more unlikely.

Especially with the critical ‘tanking’ it has undertaken. Which is a shame. But also a massive missed opportunity too.

The ‘scars’ of what this could have been – will run deep into space . . .


ESP Rating: 2.5/5


Gavin Miller


Netflix Exclusive, Out Now

Cast: Sofia Boutella, Michiel Huisman, Ed Skrein, Djimon Hounsou, Staz Nair, Doona Bae, Cary Elwes, Elise Duffy, Cleopatra Coleman, Fra Fee & Anthony Hopkins

Running Time: 2 Hrs 2 Mins 

Director: Zack Snyder

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