Have you ever wondered what Batman would be like if he had some serious personality issues and was less rich and more magic? Well, you need to stop thinking about these things because, to be frank, it’s creating some very strange concepts within the Marvel universe. With that being said, ‘Moon Knight’ has always been a strange character even in the comics and continues to do so in the hero’s TV debut.
However, what we do need to decide today as we delve into Disney Plus’s newest series is, does this concept translate well from comic to series? And most importantly we need to decide if Oscar Isaac can stop bringing his A-game to every role because he is killing it.
We dive into the series by joining Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac), a polite and skittish gentleman living in London’s central area, working as a gift shop clerk within the British Museum. We open with Steven strapped to a bed (calm down) surrounded by sand in an apartment with various locks. Although this seems strange to start with, it's discovered that Steven sleepwalks sometimes and takes precautions to keep himself locked down. This could be quite normal given the explanation, but as we move through the first episode it becomes increasingly clear that Steven is losing more time when sleeping.
This culminates when Steven has a dream about being in a very different country, surrounded by cultists and needing to escape. He is pursued by the cultists under the orders of Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), seemingly blacking out at points where he is close to capture. This leads eventually to a scene in which Steven is pursued by ancient Egyptian jackals, being trapped in a bathroom filled with mirrors. This is the moment where Steven learns he is not alone in his body, as Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) speaks to him from the reflections in the bathroom. Explaining that he can save them if he gives Marc control of their body and upon doing so, we see Moon knight for the very first time, toilet roll and all.
This sparks the adventure off as we follow Marc and Steven through London and Egypt. It goes without saying that the first episode does a lot to set the scene for one of our protagonists and then attempts to flip the script by introducing Marc. Although this doesn’t surprise the comic book fans too much, this is set up well and allows us a glimpse of moon knight after some very confusing scenes. What follows is a mixture of an Indiana Jones/Mummy adventure with the protagonists and another character. This is broken up by some combat in and out of the suit that is entertaining but leaves a hunger for more.
The first half of the season, in this humble writer’s opinion, is well written but spends a little bit too much time trying to introduce a lot of context. This does take place within the MCU so it’s strange to learn of Egyptian gods in a world shared by spiderman. The second half does delve more inward allowing Oscar Isaac to fully test his acting chops performing as both Steven and Marc side by side.
This performance is much the same as Tom Hardy in ‘Legend’, as Oscar shows the audience the difference between these two very separate characters.
After what I can only describe as a heart-breaking few episodes that are both mind-boggling and tragic, we are treated to a final battle that showcases all characters up to now in a beautiful performance. Although arguably stretched over the episodes, Moon Knight does contain some amazing combat, some emotional scenes and some amazing comedy at times. A lot of this in my opinion does fall to Oscar’s performance, as he does carry both the powerful scenes and the dreary ones. Don’t hate the series for it however as there is a lot on offer here and all performances are solid by all actors.
In conclusion, this series was a lot of fun at times and houses what I can only describe as one of Oscar Isaac's best performances. It does take some time to get some pacing however and will put some people off due to this. If you read this before jumping in, I do recommend giving ‘Moon Knight’ a chance as there is a lot to see here. However, if you need your pacing to be consistent or a strong start this may not be for you. This may not be Marvel's biggest outing, but it certainly hits a different tone and still carries a lot with it that in my opinion is worth the watch.
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