Marvel’s Inhumans is the latest TV project to venture into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and boy is it a bland, disjointed mess.
Where to begin?
Meet The Royals
We first meet the Inhuman Royal Family—led by Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and Medusa (Serinda Swan)—in Attilan, a city hidden on Earth’s moon. Rounding out the inner circle are Black Bolt’s scheming brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon), Medusa’s sister Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) and cousins Karnak (Ken Leung) and Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor).
This society of genetically-modified superhumans has lived peacefully in the isolated oasis. However, a rebellion is brimming beneath the surface.
The emergence of Inhumans on Earth—a storyline introduced on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—has created a rift amongst the royals. Black Bolt sends Triton (Mike Moh) on a mission to find the new Inhumans and bring them back to Attilan. Maximus thinks they should make Earth their new home. Oh, and he also wants to be king.
As a result, Maximus leads a military coup, sending members of the royal family scattered across the islands of Hawaii.
From Bad To Worse
The premise, though convoluted, isn’t the show’s biggest problem.
It’s the cheap-looking production design—think ’90s sci-fi TV.
It’s the wooden dialogue coupled with lackluster performances. Rheon is probably the strongest of the bunch, however, Maximus feels like a watered-down version of his Game of Thrones character.
It’s the disjointed storytelling. At times, it’s glaringly obvious that separate TV episodes were edited together. Some scenes fade to black, where a commercial would likely be, before moving to the next.
Black Bolt and the others have unique powers: his sonic voice is deadly, while Medusa has super-strong hair. And while Gorgon’s powerful hooves come in handy more than once, it’s not particularly exciting when the characters use their powers.
The action scenes suffer from cringe-worthy choreography.
Not helping matters is the look of Attilan. The city features blocky, cement-colored buildings that were constructed in a computer.
It’s all so bland.
Scott Buck, who serves as showrunner, previously worked on Netflix’s Iron Fist if that tells you anything.
Inhumans was originally slated to be part of MCU’s movie lineup. The focus shifted, somewhere along the way, and it was developed for TV instead.
Regardless, Marvel and ABC decided to give the series the “movie” treatment, sort of. The first two episodes were edited together and released in IMAX. While it’s a bold move, the IMAX release doesn’t do Inhumans any favors. In fact, the big screen presentation only magnifies the show’s flaws, bad CGI and all. One bright spot is Lockjaw, a giant teleporting dog. Too bad he also suffers from bad CGI.
Inhumans premieres on ABC on Friday, September 29.