Before seeing this… first chapter, I guess I should call it, I only knew a handful of things regarding the Inhumans. Specifically, I knew a movie was in the works before the TV show become the new reality. Beyond that, nothing. I assumed they were alien mutants or something and the redhead seriously reminds me of DC’s Starfire. Long red hair, purple get-up, the aesthetic was pretty hard not to draw a comparison. In any case, like I said, didn’t know much. But I’m a fan of anything superhero. The TV shows, like AGENTS OF SHIELD (2013 – ongoing) I’ve drifted away from in favor of the Netflix ports. Though to be honest, if these first two or three episodes didn’t get released in theaters, I probably wouldn’t have checked out this show. Too many movies to watch. It’s hard for me to get into TV anymore.
With that said, this was an opportunity to see if I wanted to see what this had in store for me. The show sounded like it was about this group of superhuman called the “family” and get torn apart and must reunite. I hadn’t seen any trailers or, obviously since I don’t watch much TV anymore, any TV spots, so I can’t say that I had any expectations going in, other than witnessing what a TV show looks like without the obvious cuts to a commercial.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Anson Mount (MR. RIGHT , NON-STOP , and CROSSROADS ), Iwan Rheon (TV show GAME OF THRONES [2011 – ongoing]), Serinda Swan (PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF ), Eme Ikwuakor (a ton of TV shows), and Ken Leung (STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS , X-MEN: THE LAST STAND , and TV show LOST [2004 – 2010]).
Now for the crew. The series composer is Sean Callery, known for TV shows JESSICA JONES (2015 – ongoing), BONES (2005 – 2017), and LA FEMME NIKITA (1997 – 2001). Finally, the series cinematographer is Jeff Jur, known for MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002), JOY RIDE (2001), and DIRTY DANCING (1987).
Overall, interested, but not stoked.
This is my honest opinion of: INHUMANS
The Inhumans are a group of super-powered people who have managed to construct themselves a home on Earth’s moon, called Attilan, hidden away from humans who have only acted violently to their kind. The Inhumans are ruled benevolently by their King Blackbolt (Anson Mount) and his beloved Queen Medusa (Serinda Swan). They rule alongside their Royal Family in relative peace. Most recently, however, one of their family, Triton (Mike Moh), is attacked by humans and thought to be killed. Blackbolts younger human brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon) wants to take Attilan’s armies and invade Earth, what he believes is their rightful home. But Blackbolt doesn’t want to go to war with Earth and instead doesn’t believe Triton isn’t dead, sending the sarcastic but lovable Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor) to Earth to find him. But Maximus’ patience is at its breaking point and organizes a coup. Medusa’s sister Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) manages to think fast enough to use her giant mutant dog Lockjaw to teleport her family to Earth to save them, while she is held captive. The Family is unfortunately separated and now must reunite while also dealing with the inhabitants and evading Maximus’ wrath.
It’s… *sigh* it’s not very good. Which is a shame because I really could have used an excuse to get back into Marvel TV. Instead, I’m only given more reasons to stick to the films.
The issue: the villain, and by extension, its heroes. Let’s start with the villain first. Maximus is not intimidating in the slightest. From the moment he’s introduced, he’s obviously that guy who is going to disagree constantly with the characters in charge and take matters into his own hands. You know what a character like that is? A whiny brat. I look at Maximus and I would rather put him over my knee and spank him. I know he’s supposed to be this sort of leader for the lower class of Attilan, and his purpose is to take Earth so they can forge a less subservient future, but because all of his complaining toward the Family, it never truly feels like he’s ever doing anything other than seizing power for himself. Furthermore, since he’s completely powerless, Maximus has to use clever a subtle tactics to be able to sway so many of the Royal Guards to his ideals, but we never get that out of him either. If the audience can’t see how manipulative, or clever he can be, there’s no reason to see him as a legitimate threat. And what’s with his creepy fetish for Medusa? Like, is this dude certifiably insane? He makes comments when he’s taking power like, “I wouldn’t treat you the way Blackbolt does.” Um… he treats her very lovingly and they have trust and are respectful of each other and their decisions. What a… monster? I never saw Blackbolt treat Medusa like an inferior ever. So here’s all I know about Maximus: he’s a whiny dip-shit and he’s a creeper. This is not how you write a compelling villain!
You know what? Now that I’m thinking about it, Maximus is basically just a discount Loki. Really think about it, he lives on another planet, in a Royal family who is not destined for the throne, hates his older brother and jealous of his power, works with the enemies in secret, and attempts to usurp power, and serves as a defacto leader while the real leader is out of commission.
You see the problem here?! It’s basically “Thor: the television series.” On top of its infuriatingly incompetent characters, the movie doesn’t have an original bone in its body, and it’s ripping from a movie that I think is legitimately good.
By extension, the Family is beaten by this guy?! This weasel of a person managed to outsmart a king and queen, the captain of the Royal Guard, and a dude who can predict outcomes of his choices, and they all managed to get their asses handed to them? In positions of power, sniveling assholes will who disagree with their benevolent leaders will always take it away. Maybe the Family was so close that no one truly thought this would happen, but once again, we’re not shown any legit connection between the characters. Our introduction to them is how they disagree with one another and bicker. How did this Family seriously not have their suspicions that this would happen? If they can be outsmarted like this, how am I supposed to care about their moon kingdom? I have zero investment in any character.
There’s also a bunch of other things that feel like they’re unnecessary. Like, I guess when you’re an inhuman, you aren’t born one until you’re both “of age” and you go into this gas chamber-looking thing… they insert a crystal which turns into a gas, and then you get your powers that way…? Why does that have to be so complicated? Why can’t an inhuman just be an inhuman and they get their powers naturally? Why does it have to be so… technical? And why does Medusa take getting her hair cut off so personally? I mean, okay, I get it. It’s her power: deadly hair. Therefore, makes sense, cutting it off makes her somewhat defenseless. But she’s acting like her hair is her murdered baby. She’s absolutely traumatized. But we later learn that she’s not completely defenseless and knows how to fight back with her bare hands. Plus… hair grows back. Maybe it’d take a long time, fine, but how much longer? Even at normal length, it looks like she can extend her locks, so I doubt she needs a shit ton of hair to get her back into fighting form. And even the action scenes are stale. We finally get situations where Blackbolt can use his powers, but he doesn’t use them. Even when an actual fight breaks out, there is way too much slow-mo and feels like it’s an episode of Power Rangers. There’s no real bite to the hits.
Is there anything that I did like? Well… I suppose for the most part, the acting is pretty good, specifically with Mount. Since his character can’t speak without vaporizing his loved ones and everything around him, he has to rely purely on his expressions and hand gestures (is that actual sign language?). His expressions read pretty clear and there’s even some solid humorous reaction shots of him. I also enjoyed Leung as Karnak, who is this overly smart guy and is so brutally honest that he’s kind of amazing. His loss of powers on Earth, while senseless, feels much more urgent to his character because he relies on his ability to see into the near future to survive deadly encounters, making his situation much easier to empathize with.
With all that said, none of what I saw in these first couple episodes are enough for me to take time out of my day to watch the rest of the show in length. I’m predicting a crap ton of fish-out-of-water stuff that’s tedious and annoying, more boring fight sequences, and a never ending scream at my TV any time Maximus shows up. There’s better shows to watch and even better superhero shows. For me, this is a hard pass, I do not recommend this to anyone, and I don’t see this show being successful. My guess, it’ll last one season, but that’s it.
My honest rating for INHUMANS: a weak 3/5