The Marvel Cinematic Universe has built up quite a reputation over the past nine years. While some out there may argue about the movies and shows in the franchise, the general consensus is that they are of a reasonable quality. So naturally, the premiere of Inhumans attracted my attention. Like most sci-fi/fantasy fanboys, I was ecstatic to see a new bunch of superheroes make their mark on the genre. And given Marvel’s reputation, there seemed to be no way that the creative team could screw this up…
…or so I thought.
In actuality, Inhumans is the first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that can be described as a failure on almost every level.
This Show Has Characters?
As we all know, television shows depend upon great performances that can carry people from week-to-week. In an act of creative malice, Inhumans relies on a set of performances that were almost completely phoned in.
That may seem harsh, but it’s true.
With the exception of Iwan Rheon, it was almost impossible to discern any positive or negative character traits in the main cast. It felt like the characters were little more than cardboard cutouts that were made to pick fights and say stiff and awkward lines of dialogue. I didn’t care about any of their struggles because there was an overwhelming lack of urgency or candor in the tone of their voices, even though a coup had been executed in the first hour!
As for the aforementioned exception, Iwan Rheon brought a reasonable amount of depth to the character of Maximus. He seemed to be the only sensible and forward-thinking person in the bunch, which was the strangest thing about the show. The writers tried to turn him into a warmongering villain, but the only thing that came off as psuedo-sinister was his odd attraction to Medusa.
It must be because of the hair.
Plot Holes Galore!
The plot of Inhumans is a simplistic take on Game of Thrones. Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and Medusa (Serida Swan) run the isolated society of Attilan, an absolute monarchy located on the Moon. After the death of one of their operatives and a series of other supposed screw-ups, Maximus executes a coup, forces the Royal Family to flee to Hawaii, and sends agents after them to secure his grip on power.
Unfortunately, the writers forgot to excise an unbelievable number of plot holes from the script. For your convenience, I’ll list some of them here!
- Why is Medusa the only one that knows Black Bolt’s form of sign language?
- Why does everyone immediately accept Maximus’ claim to the throne?
- In a universe where Norse gods exist and New York City was partially destroyed by aliens, why are Moon people so far-fetched to observers on Earth?
- Why don’t the Inhumans have any emergency supply caches on Earth?
- Why do the Inhumans draw attention to themselves even though they’re supposed to be in hiding?
- Why didn’t Medusa know that Auran can heal herself?
A common ideal in storytelling is that the viewer should not ask questions beyond what the author wants them to ask. Anything beyond that has the potential to snap the all-important requirement of suspending disbelief. If a viewer can come up with that many questions over the course of a pilot, what does that say about the quality of the writing?
The Visuals Are A Mixed Bag.
Inhumans can be applauded for its design choices, but that doesn’t say much. The sets look nice, the costumes are passable, and the cinematography is fine, but why should the average viewer care about any of that? Most people aren’t going to come back to pick out little details in the background when the finished product is a chore to sit through.
Meanwhile, the CGI ranges from fairly good to laughably bad. The most notable misstep in this department is Medusa’s hair. While the wig is good, the computerized hair looks quite silly. On the other end of the quality spectrum, Lockjaw is absolutely adorable.
Inhumans isn’t worth your time. While it may look fairly nice, the story is paper thin and the characters are too weak to carry the show. I’m sure that some die-hard fans might get a kick out of seeing Black Bolt and Lockjaw on screen, but anyone else should skip this show because it is a miserable nightmare. If you need to get your Marvel fix on network television, you should wait for the return of Agents of SHIELD. It’s less than two months away!
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