After the IMAX crowd and early reviews surfaced, I was bracing for the worst with Inhumans. But in probably the weakest passable praise I can offer I can safely say it’s not bad. Tonight marked the series premiere with Behold… the Inhumans and Those Who Would Destroy Us. There’s both reasons for optimism and concern. Hopefully the show runners figure it out quickly. ABC gave it the death slot time frame of 9 p.m. on Fridays so that’s a short window to find an audience.
The biggest problem was the terrible action sequences. They all looked really bad. If it wasn’t due to a excess of slow-motion, it was the lethargic fight choreography. To make a fair comparison, the fight scenes on Agents of SHIELD are at a Pro Bowl level and Inhumans is Pop Warner. There was no fluidity to the fight scenes and everyone moved stiffly.
Most of the CGI looked dated and poorly defined as well. But there’s at least a decent story playing out through Behold … the Inhumans. Black Bolt (Anson Mount) sent his cousin Triton to retrieve the latest newly revealed Inhuman. Jiaying sent her teleporter to recover new Inhumans. Black Bolt? He sends the Inhumans’ less effective answer to Aquaman.
It’s obvious this is a scheme from Maximus (Iwan Rheon) to undercut his brother and take the crown for himself. And maybe even more if he can sweet talk Black Bolt’s wife Medusa (Serinda Swan).
I get Rheon not wanting to get typecast as the Ramsay Snows forever, but if ever a show needed that kind of crazy bastard performance it’s Inhumans. His Maximus is too low-key, flat and exhibiting few traces of being mad. The problem is with Maximus being reserved and Black Bolt a mute, Inhumans lacks that dynamic lead character.
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This is a tricky dynamic as Inhumans is attempting to succeed without any larger than life characters on a comic book based show. It says something when Lockjaw immediately steals the show. But he does have a habit of captivating fan’s hearts.
The rest of the Royal Family fares better. Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor) brought some needed humor; Ken Leung gave Karnak a quirky personality and Isabelle Cornish perfectly captured Crystal’s youthfulness. Barring Gorgon’s missing glasses, their costume designs were nicely done as well. Clearly, the same can’t be said for Medusa’s wig, which just looked awful.
I’m glad the writers didn’t draw out Maximus’ revolt, covering it within the first episode. The big moment here was cutting Medusa’s hair. It probably wasn’t nearly as significant for non-comic book readers. For storyline purposes, I get it, but clipping her hair later on in the season would have had more impact.
Lockjaw’s bizarre sense of directions left the Royal Family split up, which is easy to forgive. Have you tried giving a dog directions? That also nicely sets up the big arc for the season — reuniting the family.
Behold … the Inhumans was an entertaining enough start for the series. The fight scenes and special effects were rough, but the characters eventually got me invested.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: Marvel Television