Moon Knight episode one is the newest Marvel show exclusive to Disney+ gripping attention but lacking cohesion.
Oscar Isaac is the latest Hollywood star to become roped into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Moon Knight.
Steven Grant (Isaac) is a British Museum gift shop clerk who when asleep wakes up in bizarre situations of which he has no recollection and must bar his doors, and restrain himself – an interesting way to start a Disney show.
Though, Steven discovers, that his knowledge of the Ancient Egyptian gods, and ropey British accent, may not be entirely coincidence.
Transported to an Eastern European landscape, Steven wakens greeting locals who then turn to shoot at him as if forgetting that was their sole purpose.
Escaping to the soundtrack of WHAM’s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Steven fades in and out of consciousness as an omnipresence, revealed in the credits to be F. Murray Abraham, takes control, leaving Steven to fend for himself when he returns to his body spotting bloodied henchmen, and a trail of destruction.
Addressing the comic book shaped elephant in the room, I at the point of writing this review, have never read, or familiarised myself with any of the Moon Knight comics.
I understand that there are some in the audience of the show who will be able to understand every minutia, character and detail.
However, I am blessed, or cursed, much like Steven, that I am coming into this show completely, and blissfully unaware.
So whilst the first episode may not have made the slightest bit of sense to me, I thoroughly loved it.
Not understanding the truth of each scene from second-guessing each supporting role’s motives, and truths, to second-guessing Isaac’s own character and accent, and the truth of dreams, was a brilliant way to introduce a character I knew nothing about.
The introduction of Ethan Hawke’s unidentified pariah who can use his tattoo, challenging the gods to determine one’s own nature was a concept I am excited to explore, hinting at Hawke’s role as the series antagonist.
Admittedly the hell-hound model, summoned canonically by Hawke’s character, used in the final act looked a little uninspired. I feel that as a result, Isaac over-acted to accommodate the CG rigging which was one of two minor gripes I had with the show introduction.
The second gripe is that the location of Steven’s workplace looked to be the British Museum, however, a shot showing the street from the front entrance showed Nelson’s Column which would mean the museum was the National Portrait Gallery.
In relative to the wider story, this makes little difference, and if anything could be palmed off as the disjointed way this first episode is meant to feel.
Despite this, the use of cinematic languages, such as jump cuts, an editing technique used to disorientate, and jump from one location randomly to the next was used with utter precision and is but one technique used alongside expertise and knowledge of how to craft a visual story.
Regardless of how Moon Knight as a series performs, I am thoroughly impressed with Disney’s current creative phase to be experimental.
It worked with WandaVision and Loki for the most part as a series, with Eternals being a great feature film example, and it looks as if Moon Knight is following suit.
If Moon Knight does follow suit, and that’s large if, given the poor execution of WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I will be delighted that finally, a superhero franchise has proved that knowing nothing doesn’t put you at a disadvantage compared to pleasing the fans.
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