Marvel and Disney+’s ‘Moon Knight’ Is The Next Can’t-Miss Series – Review
Moon Knight is Marvel’s first true origin story to premiere on Disney+. To this point, each series has starred at least one MCU hero with plenty of films preceding their series. For this reason, it’s easy to say that this show works. Moon Knight is a proper origin story that Oscar Isaac and crew crushed on every level.
At its best Moon Knight mirrors the fun of classic adventure films like The Mummy, National Treasure, and Indiana Jones. The added twist is a supernatural heroic badass in the middle of the action. In a great way, the first four episodes of Moon Knight have a lot in common with the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Imagine if Iron Man‘s initial film played out over six-ish hours of TV. That’s the satisfaction and quality we’re getting with Moon Knight. This series is more movie than show and it may be the least episodic feeling series of the Disney+ shows to date. The creative team should take the Phase One comparison as a compliment. The scale of the show they are attempting to land is working incredibly well.
For the unfamiliar, Moon Knight in the comics has often featured stories focusing on multiple personalities and dissociative identity disorder. The various identities are not a gimmick. LOST had its flashbacks, Westworld had its time shuffling, and Moon Knight delves into identities. Multiple perspectives could have come off as a cute trick, but for many reasons, their basic premise is working. The opening persona Steven Grant is rather skittish, Letting life happen to him. The thriller aspect of the show quickly reveals there is much more to this gift shop worker than a British accent.
It’s taken too long to fully praise the series lead Oscar Isaac. Isaac brings a calm cool to one of his characters’ sides and a mousey doormat quality to the other. The show flies on the strength of Isaac’s performance. An actor of his calibre rarely stars in a streaming series. The magnetism Oscar brings is at the level of Mahershala Ali in True Detective. What Oscar is doing in every frame is only improved by his two excellent scene partners. May Calamawy’s Layla and Ethan Hawke’s Arthur are great co-pilots for a sprawling adventure. Ethan’s central antagonist is a more subtle foe, but the overall performance is on par with the best baddies in the MCU. Imagine the opposite of David Tennant’s Purple Man. If the Jessica Jones antagonist is the Hulk, then Arthur is Bruce Banner.
On the action front, Moon Knight includes a good amount of fright and fights. The expected super-suit brawls are satisfying. The suspenseful bits add a preview of what Marvel’s horror lane might be, and the jump-cutting scenes add a great variety to the series. While we’re talking suits, Moon Knight has a stunningly slick look. Perhaps one of the most striking silhouettes for a recent MCU debut. This far into the Marvel endeavour, it’s hard to be blown away by CGI sequences. So far, the flow and visualization of Moon Knight’s arsenal certainly bring enough thrills to keep audiences interested.
The last aspect to cover, without going too far into spoilers, is the persona of Steven Grant. The trailer hints at the paranormal parts of the show tied to Khonshu and other Egyptian gods. While those aspects are more shrouded in mystery, the conflict between Steven Grant and his other personality is what will keep you wishing for more. Moon Knight was announced as a limited series, but it’s clear with an incredible lead like Oscar Isaac at the helm the MCU faithful will have a hunger for more.