Well here we are. We live in a world where I just paid nearly $20 to see the first two episodes of a television show that was, for some reason, aired in IMAX theaters nearly a month before its release on television.
And let me warn you, it’s not at all worth it.
Inhumans is an eight-episode miniseries from Marvel Comics, focusing on the royal family of a hidden city on the Moon called Attilan. Yes, even for a Marvel property, this is a little out there. The king of this city is Black Bolt (Anson Mount), whose whisper can demolish countries, so he remains quiet. His queen Medusa (Serinda Swan) translates for him and also has the ability to control her hair. Yes. Really. Medusa has a little sister named Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) that can control the major elements and has a teleporting dog for a pet named Lockjaw. Black Bolt has three warriors that help to protect and advise him, including Karnak (Ken Leung), Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor), and Triton (Mike Moh). Everything is fine until Black Bolt’s brother Maximus (Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon) decides to take over the throne.
Not very much, which is frustrating. I don’t blame the actors for most of this but what they’re given is incredibly bad. The only character that I really understood was the villain, though Iwan Rheon (who played Ramsey Bolton in Game of Thrones) is a bit typecast at this point. I found myself rooting for him more than our “heroes,” as they seemed to lack logic and judgement in most situations.
Almost everything, resulting in probably the worst thing that Marvel Studios has created in the ten years since Iron Man.
At its core, this feels like television, which isn’t always a bad thing. Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones… Television isn’t a bad thing. This feels like 1990s television, like a Hercules or Xena spinoff. The sets are cold and fake, the city of Attilan feeling empty. The costumes look like bad cosplay at a convention, being a perfect example of when Marvel should’ve gone for a more “grounded” approach as opposed to authentic versions from the comics.
As I sat in the theater, I couldn’t answer the question “Why is this IMAX?” There is absolutely no reason for you to shell out your hard-earned money for this, when it’ll be on television in late September. The aspect ratio of IMAX did not nothing to enhance this story, if anything it made the low budget effects stand out even more.
The problems started on the page though, as this script makes a lot of mistakes. The characters constantly spit out their motivations and plot exposition and any attempt at humor falls completely flat. Paired with bad editing, the scenes constantly just come to a halt and jump to somewhere else, leaving you jarred and confused.
I also have to reiterate how bad the special effects are. If they couldn’t make Medusa (above) look awesome, they should’ve stopped working on Inhumans a long time ago. The inhuman Triton looks horrible, Gorgon has hooves that sometimes fit into boots confusingly, and the giant dog Lockjaw stands out like a sore thumb. In the comparable Agents of SHIELD, we’ve seen a bump in quality lately including a pretty outstanding Ghost Rider. Why couldn’t we get something awesome here?
Okay, I also have to talk about fight scenes. There are only a few here and they’re all atrocious. Ken Leung plays a master martial artist called Karnak, who is supposed to be able to dismantle any foe he comes across, but his fight scenes here are choppy and edited poorly, ending up a confusing mess.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there’s almost nothing to like about Inhumans. It does almost everything wrong and the decision to release in IMAX theaters was a poor choice and a money-grabbing scheme, which will likely backfire now that folks have a month to hear all the poor reviews before the show arrives on ABC.