Following years in development hell, the latest Marvel comic adaptation has arrived in the form of Inhumans. Having once been launched as part of the mighty MCU film slate, this was quickly dropped and formed a part of Marvel’s hit and miss TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In November 2016, we were told Inhumans was getting their own show, not only that but the first 2 episodes were to be show on the big screen, in IMAX! Well, lucky for me, my local multiplex has an IMAX screen. So I went along to see it.
Inhumans follows The Royal Family of Attilan including Black Bolt (King of the Inhumans) with a voice so powerful that the slightest whisper can destroy a city. After the family is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Earth, landing in Hawaii.
Let me start by saying this did not have to be shown in IMAX, they did not make the best use of this wonderful technology, it does nothing in the way of making the show look better and only really does typical IMAX-y rubbish, like slow motion running and making everything wet, so we can see how clear it is rather than using the medium to enhance what is happening on the screen. It seems as if the whole budget was spent on the opening few minutes and from that point on the show struggles to make its mark.
I have no reference for the Inhumans as I never read the comics or really watched much of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s later series, so I went into this completely blind, with no baggage and hoping for the best. What a terrible experience it was.
The show assumes a lot from its viewers and does nothing to help you understand the characters or there motivations. It was littered with odd plot points and hampered by some real pacing issues.
The sets were drab and dreary and all the costumes in the show looked as if they were on loan from a drama school. Show’s main characters are supposed to be royalty within the Inhumans society, when in actual fact they look like a bunch of amateur cosplayers making a fan film.
It was so disappointing, especially since Marvel’s TV output in recent years has been so good, albiet down to the Netflix stuff, but even so I expected so much more. This is so bad, it makes you look at DC’s TV stuff in a totally different light, you only have to look at The Flash, Arrow, Gotham and even Supergirl to see how much they’ve ruined Inhumans. I can’t believe I had to pay to see this.
As with all things, regardless of how bad they are, you can always pick out some bright spots. In this case it’s the casting. Game of Thrones‘ Iwan Rheon is brilliant as Maximus and Anson Mout, who plays the head of royal family Black Bolt is outstanding even though he only uses sign language to communicate. The cast can’t be blamed as its they are working with a truly woeful script. It’s such a shame as the story sounds like it has promise and could have opened a door to this whole planet of super powered lesser known characters from the Marvel Universe. Sadly judging from critical reception and box office takings it doesn’t seem likely that Inhumans will receive a second season.
After the wave of criticism, show-runner Scott Buck came out and blamed a lack of budget leading to the shows low production value and constraints on visual effects (hardly an excuse given how well DC’s shows do on the CW’s micorbudget). Buck was also show-runner on Netflix’s undercooked Iron Fist too, so there are only so many times a work man can blame his tools. At the end of my viewing I was treated with a preview of the rest of the season episodes and it all looked bad. As I keep saying it’s such a shame to see this as Marvel doesn’t usually waste its characters. Just look at how Guardians of the Galaxy took off when no-one really knew who they were.
The legendary Jack Kirby would really hate seeing what has been done to his characters and how they’ve been portrayed. having said all that I remain morbidly curious at how the rest of the season will go so will probably watch it but if your on the fence about this, wait for TV as this was a waste of time, money, great characters and the IMAX format.