In many ways, the first episode of Moon Knight is everything I wanted from a Marvel Cinematic Universe show since they started on Disney Plus WandaVision a little over a year ago. It introduces us to a new character in an interesting situation, one that may be set in the MCU but isn’t required to. In fact, barring some subtle cues for eagle-eyed fans, the first episode of Moon Knight hardly indicates that it is set in the same world as Eternals or Doctor Strange† Could be The Falcon and the Winter Soldierthanks to the common thread of “Europe”.
But what does? Moon Knight introduce us? Well, like his main character, that’s messy. Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) is the definition of milquetoast. Grant, a demure, goofy museum gift shop worker in London, speaks with a nasal accent and walks with an eternal hunch. He likes Egyptian history and talking about it which unfortunately is not part of his job. And he has what he thinks is a sleep disorder. So he chains his ankle to his bed, tapes his door (which is locked with multiple deadbolts and chains) and surrounds his bed with sand, all to keep his unconscious body from wandering out at night or at least let him know. if he tried. Unfortunately for Steven, it’s a little more complicated than that.
As with many modern shows, Moon KnightThe writers keep their cards close to their chests. If you’re a fan of the Marvel Comics character created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, you may have an idea of what’s going on, but the adaptation here is a loose one – in the comic books, this character is never introduced to us. like Steven Grant, and if he is, he’s a completely different person.
That doesn’t mean it’s bad that Moon Knight begins in parts unfamiliar to comic book fans. As one of Marvel’s lesser-known characters (one that has a lot of dated baggage in need of updating), Moon Knight has a lot of flexibility to create something new here for the MCU introduction of the character, and the result is fascinating. Part keepsakepart Night at the museumthe first episode of Moon Knight follows Steven Grant when he discovers he’s not the only one in control of his body, and that a vision of a supernatural entity that only he can see follows him.
Most of Moon KnightThe premiere is a fun 45 minute escapade in which Steven winks in and out of consciousness as he and those he shares his thoughts with tug of war over his body after Steven wakes up somewhere in Europe with a dislocated jaw. Here, Steven encounters the series’ villain, Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), a cult leader who claims to serve the Egyptian god Ammit, a crocodile-faced creature associated with judgment, and thus makes (rude) judgmental people his whole ( deadly) thing.
Arthur wants a scarab artifact that Steven inexplicably has, and the person sharing his body doesn’t want him to give it up. As the two fight for control, Steven finds his consciousness winking back and forth to find himself in increasingly impossible situations – mercenaries dead around him, gun in hand, escaping in a cupcake truck that backs up, that sort of thing. things.
All in all, it feels like a solid first act of a pretty fun movie, but that also means it feels incomplete. There’s nothing wrong with a show withholding some explanation, especially if viewers know ahead of time that with a six-episode run, they won’t be waiting long. But Moon Knight does not give the public much to wait in front of† How much the premiere will hang in you depends largely on how compelling you find Oscar Isaac’s performance as the lead actor(s). Luckily, he’s excellent – he completely embraces the physical comedy and bewilderment of Steven’s situation, even making one of the weirdest choices (that accent!) yet in a Marvel production.
Unfortunately, he’s more or less the only reason to watch so far. Outside of a handful of friendly but distant colleagues and an army of thugs trying to kill him, Steven has no serious interaction with anyone who is not in his own head, meaning Isaac has to put down his greatest talent – his tangible and unparalleled charisma of person to person.
In fact, the most intrigue Moon Knight is able to boot during this first episode is in its final moments, when Steven Grant finally relinquishes control and Oscar Isaac becomes someone else. However, we won’t meet him until next week. Let’s hope he doesn’t disappoint.
Moon KnightThe first episode is streaming now Disney Pluswith new episodes premiering on Wednesdays.