Today (November 17) the DCEU is bringing its top tier characters to the big screen with the highly anticipated Justice League. But this post is about the MCU and its low tier characters the Inhumans which were recently brought to the small screen.
And while the house of Iron Man and Thor has turned obscure characters like Guardians of the Galaxy into megastars, the adaptation of the Inhumans was an ever expanding river of disappointment. With a SPOILER ALERT here is my review in three slices:
Slice #1 – Uninteresting characters
Adapting these characters from comic to live action was always going to be tricky. The Inhumans are a super-powered royal family that live on the moon and their leader is mostly mute because his voice is a weapon of mass destruction. And, with just a few exceptions, the characters are just kind of boring. Anson Mount as the lead Black Bolt is about as exciting as watching paint dry. He has about two and a half expressions and barely emotes. And why they did not subtitle his sign language is just baffling. Serinda Swan as Inhuman queen Medusa is better but somewhat flat. And the most interesting thing about Medusa is her living hair and they cut that early in the series, possibly because they wanted to spare us the awful looking CGI. The design of the aquatic Inhuman Triton also looks like something from Power Rangers.
On the positive side Isabelle Cornish (Crystal) is an attractive actress and Eme Ikwuakor’s super strong Gorgon has some fun moments. The only really interesting characters are Ken Leung’s Karnak and Iwan Rheon’s evil Maximus. Karnak has some of the best lines and moments in the series and infuses even the most silly of scenes with energy. Rheon, who made quite a mark as the psychotic Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones, does dark and paranoid very well and he makes the best of the weak plot points. And oh yes, the giant, time traveling pooch Lockjaw is cute.
Slice #2 – Disappointing action
For a superhero show there is a dearth of superhero action. Unlike in the comics where Black Bolt can also fly and shoot energy beams, in the show he only has his super voice which he barely uses for obvious reasons. Medusa has a buzz cut so she can’t do anything. Crystal has a power like X-Men Storm but mostly threatens guards and pushes around humans. Gorgon’s stomps do look cool and I did enjoy the visualisation of Karnak’s prediction ability.
The Inhumans loyal to Maximus tracking them in Hawaii are under utilised and the uber powerful Mordis is uber lame. Triton going all Book of Eli on the guards in the ending episodes was decent but nothing we have not seen before. Everything is just a whole lot of generic.
Slice #3 – Sub-par plot
The Inhumans falls down the most in terms of plot. When Maximus attacks they are all split off into dull subplots. Black Bolt in jail is meh. Gorgon immediately gaining the loyalty of gun-packing Hawaiian dudes is unbelievable. Karnak with the drug dealers is just odd. Crystal and Dave feels like it was pulled from a CW series, and not a good one. Only Medusa and Louise is kinda okay, only because Louise is a fun character.
From the evil side we basically have Maximus sending down villains to Earth like Rita Repulsa and eliminating enemies on Attilan who we don’t care about. When all The Inhumans reunited I felt no emotional impact. When Attilan was in danger I felt nothing. When Black Bolt and Maximus had their final confrontation? Nada! The destruction of Attilan, the hinting of an alien threat and the Inhumans (1,400 after all these years) moving to Earth all scream second season but with this extremely poor showing and dismal ratings it is highly unlikely. The characters probably would have worked better as part of a season-long Agents of Shield arc. Opportunity missed! And the series just barely connects to the MCU universe so by skipping it you are missing nothing. Congratulations Iron Fist. You are no longer the worst MCU TV series.
Rating: Marvel Inhumans Season 1 gets 1.75/5 teleporting dog slobbers.
For more MCU on the small screen you can check out my review of The Defenders Season 1 here.