Somewhere, someone realy screwed up with Inhumans.
I’m going to start by saying that I’ve never been a big fan of the Inhumans. Marvel has been pushing them recently in a spiteful attempt to replace the X-Men and give Fox the middle finger by slowly killing off their most successful franchise. I was hoping that seeing them in action on the big screen might change my mind. Instead, I only dislike it all the more.
It’s hard to do a proper film review of this, shall we just say, “theatrical release.” The reason being is that it’s the first 2 parts of an 8 part miniseries. In that regard, it is very much an unfinished story. However, I do feel comfortable saying that it plays exactly how you would expect a bad TV movie to play. In other words, it’s not really worth the $20 you will be expected to shell out to see it.
There is clearly a lot of effort that went into Inhumans. The set pieces are pretty spectacular and it definitely takes full advantage that most of it was filmed on location in Hawaii. However, for every good thing about Inhumans, there are too many bad things. For one, it tries so very hard to be Game of Thrones light. The “movie” focuses on a royal family of Inhumans, who is suddenly torn apart by a treacherous coup. There the similarities end. Well, unless you count the casting of Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton) as the villain. Rhoen here though is nowhere near as menacing as he was in Game of Thrones though. Instead, he comes off as a spineless coward, hiding behind his privilege to gain power. There is absolutely nothing intimidating about him. There in lies the first big problem with Inhumans. A hero is only as good as their villain, and this villain is pathetic.
The rest of the cast is a who’s who of TV talent, including the likes of Serinda Swan (Medusa), Ken Leung (Karnak), and Anson Mount (Black Bolt). For the most part, they do a fair enough job in their respective roles. Anson Mount especially has a lot on his shoulders, since his character cannot speak without causing immense destruction. They don’t have a lot to work with though. The dialogue is stiff and uncomfortable, causing every scene to feel just a little bit off. That’s not the worst part though, the worst is the awkward logic forced onto the characters. It’s hard to imagine a royal family making it so far while being so stupid. It’s hard to go into detail about what I mean without spoiling it, but trust me when you see it your brow will be wrinkled in confusion.
Another thing that is painfully obvious is that Inhuman’s effects budget is spread painfully thin. The characters rarely use their powers (I believe everyone gets to do it once), and in the case of Medusa, the series makes sure early on that they won’t have to bother with CGI hair. Then there are the practical effects, which are unremarkable. Everything from hoofs to wigs to costumes feels like mediocre cosplay at best. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve met cosplayers who could do a better job. Then again, that’s because Inhumans so clearly lacks what they have, passion.
Like I said earlier, it’s hard to give it a proper “movie” review because it’s not meant to be a movie. That only confuses me more though, because someone at Marvel thought that it would be a good idea to release it in theaters. The only reasoning I can come up with is that Marvel is desperate to prove they can make a good TV show. Of course, I don’t mean their Netflix series… Well, maybe Iron Fist, which makes sense given that Scott Buck wrote both Iron Fist and Inhumans.
In too many ways, this mini-series is reminiscent of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is not necessarily a good thing. I’ll admit the series is a guilty pleasure of mine, but it’s guilty for a reason. I can admit that it’s not that good, but I have a hard time looking away. Like someone observing a tragic accident they just can’t tear their eyes from. I assume that Inhumans will be very much in the same vein as this, and I’ll probably continue to watch this 8 episode train wreck unfold.
Marvel has given its fans so many good things over the years. It’s reigned king in the world of comic book movies and has had tremendous success with Netflix. I suppose it was inevitable for them to stumble at some point. Is Inhumans just one of it’s few failures or a sign that the crown has become too heavy for their head? Have they over extended themselves by trying to do too much too quickly and are buckling under the weight? Is this the time for DC to strike? Who knows.
What I do know is that Inhumans is not worth the price to see in theaters. Whether you can still watch the series without seeing the movie will just have to be seen. If that is the case, then it’s despicable for Marvel to do this to fans and I can only say one thing, Inhumans is not worth seeing.