The newest Marvel TV show is a cringeworthy mess that has your siding with the villain, but that’s no excuse to give up on it just yet.
If you read my review of the IMAX release in September, you have an idea as to who everyone is. But just in case you are lazy, in a hurry, or forgot, here is a quick recap…
Black Bolt is the King of the Inhumans and rules Attilan, a hidden colony of the dark side of the moon. His voice is so powerful, it renders him mute to keep from destroying anyone or thing around him with a word. Black Bolt’s wife, Medusa, interprets his gestures and speaks for him (which begs the question, why doesn’t the other members of the family and royal council know sign language?) Medusa’s hair is sentient, powerful, and made laughable by a dime store wig. Thankfully halfway through the two-hour premiere her head is shaved, freeing the lovely Serina Sawn (and us) from that albatross on her head.
Since there is not a lot of room or resources in Attilan, the Inhumans live in a strict cast system. A lottery is held each year to determine who undergoes Terrigenesis. Those not picked, or do not develop powers after exposure to Terrigen are used as slave labor. Maximus, the brother of Black Bolt, was one of the unlucky few who didn’t develop powers. Since he is royal, he is spared the mines, but not the ridicule of being “human” in the eyes of everyone else.
Maximus is driven to mutiny when he learns of Black Bolt’s plans to bring Inhumans created on Earth to the overcrowded Attilan. The Loki wannabe teams up with Auran, a member of the royal guard, to murder the council. The two then gather what seems to be practically all of the guard to arrest the royal family.
Black Bolt and Medusa escape to Hawaii with the help of the over-sized, teleporting dog, Lockjaw. The cutie pup manages to grab a royal advisor, Karnak, before being knocked out. Already on Hawaii is Triton, an amphibious Inhuman sent to Earth by Black Bolt to rescue those changed by the events of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 finale, and Gorgon, the hoof-footed leader of the Royal Guard (who was completely oblivious the majority of his subordinates being in league with Maximus). Stuck on Attilan is Crystal, the sister of Medusa and the owner of Lockjaw. Maximus grounds her and sends her to her room for not bending the knee to him.
Lockjaw transports Black Bolt, Medusa, and Karnak nowhere near each other, or Gorgon who was looking for the presumed dead Triton. Auran tracks Medusa to Hawaii. A powerless Medusa shows herself to be quite self-sufficient. She gets the jump on Auran, stabbing the strong fighter several times with a knife she stole. Black Bolt is taken into police custody for stealing clothes, resisting arrest, and blowing up a police cruiser (abet accidentally). Karnak’s powers are rendered useless when he hits his head and just curls in a ball on the ground. Gorgon decides to wait on the beach with some surfers thinking Maximus would actually have the guts to come down to Earth and face him.
While the network premiere offered nine minutes of extra footage helping to rounding out the story, Inhumans is as dreadful as I remember it in the theater.
The first two episodes plod along with dialogue making me wince and lazy plot contrivances used to create conflict such as Lockjaws randomly scattering of the shows heroes all over the islands of Hawaii.
And speaking of the heroes… Are we really supposed to root for the people who are for slavery? Maximus wants to fight for a better life for Inhumans, abolish the cast system, and I’m supposed to hate him? Iwan Rheon does a better job with the lackluster script than the other actors, making me like Maximus even more.
The writers did not do a good job making me want to side with Black Bolt and Medusa. If the guards are more than happy to side with Maximus, what does that say for them as rulers?
Actually, I do find myself rooting for Medusa. Her hair is sheared off by Maximus (in one of the many unintentionally hilarious moments), taking away her powers and she still manages to be a bad ass. I do wonder how Medusa didn’t know Auran has healing powers? Isn’t that one of the reasons why she is a part of the guard?
There is an almost forgettable side plot featuring a scientist, Louise, who seems to be the only person on her team remembering the existence of Aliens and superpowered beings. She is on the trail of Black Bolt after she arrives in Hawaii and sees a news report of his arrest.
Inhumans has a lot of problems right off the bat. First and foremost is Scott Buck, who produced Iron Fist before he was shuffled to Inhumans. It is rumored he was placed with the struggling project because Marvel wanted a cheap and quick production. Not something you want to hear about a show needing to rely on special effects for powers and a giant, teleporting dog.
So far, the reviews from critics and many who tuned into the premiere were not good. If you followed the Twitter feed for the first two episodes, it does seem as if several people will come back next week and give Inhumans a second chance due to some glimmers of good buried in the face-palm inducing show. Everyone loves Lockjaw. Medusa’s turn in Hawaii garnered some love. The possibilities of political intrigue are there waiting to be developed.
Those glimmers need to become diamonds if Inhumans is to earn more than the eight episodes, or they will forever be a black spot on Marvels fairly clean track record along with Iron Fist.
Till Next Week!
The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale.