[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the finale of Moon Knight.]
So that’s weird, isn’t it?
My reaction to Marvel Studios’ Wednesday’s conclusion Moonlight Knight is a sentiment that can be shared by many of those who have watched the Disney+ series over the past six weeks. The series, currently billed as limited and without any contractual obligations to future appearances by Oscar Isaac, ends with a dramatic twist, with a partial settlement in an average credit scene.
While it would be a surprise if Isaac, who also served as the film’s executive producer, did not return to the role in the future, the sense of lack of story completion feels like a choice. confusing regardless of your rating for the movie. fall.
While every project of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from film to streaming, has narrative and mysterious themes that move on to the next project, Moonlight Knight feels most unfinished in terms of completing the story setting, leading to a strangely rushed ending. There’s no denying ambition and talent when playing at Moonlight Knightbut the end result leaves me wanting more and questioning whether the six-episode format best serves its characters.
There’s a lot to love about the series, created by Jeremy Slater and directed by Mohamed Diab and Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, namely Isaac’s dual performance as Marc Spector and Steven Grant. But as the first Marvel Studios series to come out without a movie featuring any of the characters before, Moonlight Knight The decision feels too short to explore all the new characters and mythology it establishes.
I noted after the first volume that the series looked to recreate the comic book character’s mythology in a similar way to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) and the eternal (In 2021) already. It is always clear that Moonlight Knight won’t be a Daredevil or Batman clone, and that’s a good thing.
So the problem with Moonlight Knight The reality isn’t that it strays from the comics, or that it’s even more of a character study than a superhero show. The problem is Moonlight Knight begins in the middle of a story, with Steven acting as the surrogate for the audience’s confusion, but it never fully provides us with a timeframe to base us on. How long has Marc been the Moon Knight? No idea. What did he and Layla (May Calamawy) do before Steven reappeared? No idea. When does this happen in the MCU? No idea. For all the sake of liking a project that largely feels disconnected from the larger MCU, Moonlight Knight Feeling uninterested, an evidence museum on display rarely answers looming questions and never feels fixed in one moment.
As a psychological test, Moonlight Knight do miracles. Isaac sells every moment of Marc and Steven’s trauma, and there are indeed some emotional moments that audiences have to go through, especially in the fifth episode. But it often feels like the series is more interested in exploring how to visualize dissociative identity disorder than exploring the characters. By episode six, I felt like I still didn’t know who Marc Spector was. I know some of the things he did, the fact that he was blamed for his mother’s depression and his brother’s death and becoming a mercenary, but he always felt like an executioner. motion. And as the series goes through psychological sessions with Marc/Steven, the other supporting characters won’t be in the picture for too long, as will the questions the series raises.
The existence of a third surrogate, Jake Lockley, was revealed in the first episodes of the series, but didn’t come into play until the final middle scene. Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) was the Moon Knight before Spector, but reached a breaking point with his necessary violence. What was that breaking point, how did he get out of his contract with the moon god Khonshou (F. Murray Abraham), and how, as a follower of the goddess Ammit (Sofia Danu and Saba Mubarak). ), he can summon jackals that were never executed. strange.
Layla El-Faouly (Calamawy), an essential and beautifully played recreation of Marlene Alraune in the comics, becomes the avatar of the goddess Taweret (Antonia Salib), but also the superhero Scarlet Scarab, set the question of how is the deity depicted? of motherhood and childbirth manifests as a beetle-themed hero with wings and the ability to attack. And Marc, who grew up Jewish, never confronts his faith while also accepting the knowledge that the Egyptian gods are real. I’m making these points not to create a list of grievances with the show, but to show how all of these compelling elements, each possibly their own series, are evaluated. lower by the six allocated volumes.
A central influence on the series was Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s 2016 comic book series, which also saw Spector deal with his dissociative identity disorder and the possibility that Moon Knight could be a Illusions are created in the mental hospital. But the Lemire and Smallwood series are 40 years old Moonlight Knight comic book to serve as a prelude before offering a deconstruction of the character and his various alterations.
Marvel Studios’ Moonlight Knight feels like a pre-deconstruction for a character that’s never been on screen before. The series gives us some of the most impressive visuals, direction, and performances in the MCU, but Moonlight Knight begging for a format change in the form of a 10-episode minimum or a multi-season plan from the start. As it exists, Moonlight Knight was a worthwhile exploration of three seasons crammed into six episodes that certainly filled me with excitement and anxiety for the character’s future.
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