Welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related. In today’s episode, I’m going to do something a little bit different than usual. Something that has nothing to do with film. That’s right, I’m going to be talking about a television show that resides in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU has been riding on huge success with their movies, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming raking in some big money at the box office. Their attempt on television is a different story. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD marked as a starting point in the MCU team’s strategy to expand the superhero universe for the smaller screen, with the show already set for a fifth season later this year. The successful ratings of SHIELD lead them to develop other Marvel shows, such as Agent Carter for ABC and the latest take of Daredevil for Netflix subscribers. While most of their shows have shared the same success as their big-budget superhero blockbusters, they ran into some problems that may or may not put their television strategy into question. One of these problems is that despite a strong critical reception, Agent Carter was cancelled after two seasons due to a decrease in viewership. On the Netflix side, its string of critically-received Marvel shows, starting with Daredevil, was broken with the release of Marvel’s Iron Fist, which gained a lot of poor reviews upon its release. But it didn’t stop there. On September 1, ABC’s latest show, Marvel’s Inhumans, debuted its first two episodes exclusively in IMAX ahead of its series premiere on September 29 and just like Iron Fist, it suffered from plenty of unpleasant reviews. As of this writing, Marvel’s Inhumans has scored a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is worse than the 18% rating that Iron Fist received. Keep in mind that Inhumans only debuted its first two episodes compared to Iron Fist releasing the entire first season at once. A few days ago, I decided to take a small break from reviewing the new releases and attend the IMAX experience myself. For this episode of Movie Talk, I will be sharing my initial experience on the first two episodes of Marvel’s Inhumans while also answering the question: Is it really that bad?
Titled “The First Chapter”, the show focuses on the main members of the Inhuman Royal Family, consisting of Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Medusa (Serinda Swan), Karnak (Ken Leung), Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor), Crystal (Isabelle Cornish), and Lockjaw, Crystal’s teleporting canine. When they discover a plot lead by Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus (Iwan Rheon), the Royal Family escapes to Hawaii and wind up being separated from one another. With the new Head of the Royal Guards on their trail and Maximus now king of the secret Inhuman city known as Attilan, the Royal Family members must travel through Earthly territory in order to find each other and figure out a way to return to Attilan and foil Maximus’ plan for good. Looking into these episodes as a whole, it’s like a mixture of Thor and X-Men because of how these types of people are treated by everybody else. Problem is, these two Marvel films handled the plot elements a lot better than the elements that are shown in Inhumans. Does that make it a bad show? Well, not exactly. The introduction to the Inhuman species during the second season of Agents of SHIELD was interesting enough to see what direction they’re going to take. Introducing the species again as a television show, however, that’s where things got a little tough. The first two episodes of Inhumans were filmed with IMAX cameras, which is why they’re premiering it in IMAX theaters before its official television premiere at the end of the month. The way it was showcased on an IMAX screen looks and sounds impressive, creating a pretty unusual way of watching television on the biggest screen possible. It’s like watching a huge HD TV with a bunch of strangers sitting next to you…with the price of up to 12 dollars. Unfortunately, the quality is still the same as any other television show, which can lead to its inability to enhance the amount of depth within the characters and the production design. I thought the cast did fine with their respective roles, especially Mount as Black Bolt and Leung as Karnak, who has a really cool Inhuman ability in my opinion. He has the ability to plan out his strategies mentally, searching for the best way possible before he fully acts. The story so far has been pretty mediocre in terms of its execution. Even though it had some interesting moments here and there, it also had some familiar plot elements that weren’t anything special due to Scott Buck’s screenplay. Even Rhein’s character, Maximus, made himself a bit too obvious in terms of his intentions. The visual effects, by television standards, weren’t too bad, although I would say that the CGI design for Lockjaw could’ve used a bit more work. Aside from that, they’re pretty decent as a whole.
In conclusion, my experience with Marvel’s Inhumans in IMAX was respectably impressive. As for the show itself, it’s not entirely bad, but in terms of its execution, it’s a pretty rocky start, in my opinion. My best strategy is to hold off my final impressions of the show until after I’ve seen the rest of the episodes because I always give certain shows a chance, just like I give certain movies a chance. If I don’t like what I see, I’ll just stop watching and move on. That’s how I always roll. Do I think that other television studios should try out this strategy in the near future? Well, to be honest, I would like to see something like that again, but it will have to depend on the show’s concept. Marvel’s Inhumans will make its debut on ABC on September 29, so if you’re interested in seeing it for yourself, I would say watch it with low expectations. With that said, this has been moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, or in this case, Television Talk. See you next time.