Marvel’s Inhumans Isn’t the Trainwreck People Are Labelling It

Lockjaw in Marvel's Inhumans
MARVEL’S INHUMANS – Create your destiny. Meet Marvel’s Inhumans early in IMAX theatres September 1, and experience the full series starting September 29 on ABC. (ABC/Marvel)
LOCKJAW, ANSON MOUNT

Marvel’s Inhumans Series Premiere Plot Summary:

Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and his few allies flee to Hawaii after his brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon) deposes him as king of Attilan, a secret Inhuman city on the Moon.

This limited IMAX event has been a long time coming. Marvel’s Inhumans was originally supposed to be a regular MCU film, but the studio delayed it indefinitely until converting it to a TV series. It seems like this special presentation of the premiere in IMAX theaters is a compromise between its proponents and opponents. One can surmise that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. threw a wrench in the movie’s plans when it made Inhumans an integral part of the show. So, was this compromise for the best?

I remain unconvinced at the moment. Inhumans has elements that would’ve definitely benefited from a movie budget, most notably the effects and the fight choreography. The fights even pale in comparison to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t known for award-winning performances, but Inhumans also suffers from some stale acting that wouldn’t pass in the movies.

This isn’t to the say that Inhumans doesn’t have anything going for it. Maximus and Loki are both jealous brothers who take over a kingdom, but Maximus already has more depth than most Marvel villains. In fact, I strangely found myself on his side more than I found myself on Black Bolt’s. It’s up to the show to make me care for Black Bolt. I already like some of his friends, so that’s a good start. The analytical Karnak (Ken Leung) character stands out, in particular.

I’m not sure if it’s because the IMAX event cuts some scenes out, but Maximus’s coup happens really quickly, while the segments on Earth are notably slower. I thought I read the TV premiere would be longer. I’m hoping Inhumans does more political intrigue in the future, because the show definitely does that better than it does action.

I’ve only seen a couple hours so far, but I still believe Marvel’s Inhumans would have worked better as a movie. If the folks at Marvel were worried about clashing with the other movies, they could have waited until the Infinity Gauntlet saga was over. Then again, I don’t work for Marvel. Maybe that would somehow clash with other plans, though I doubt it.

It’s hard to describe how I feel coming out of the screening. It’s a very underwhelming use of IMAX technology after seeing Dunkirk, and the premiere is lower budget and melodramatic at times. Still, Marvel’s Inhumans clearly has heart, even if some of it was chipped away during development.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (Average)

MARVEL’S INHUMANS PREMIERES SEPT 29 AT 8 ON ABC

Aaron Sarnecky is The Pop Break’s Television Editor and covers Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., among other things. He is a TV/Film grad of Rowan University and the fraternal twin of staff writer Josh Sarnecky. He probably remembers that show you forgot existed.

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