Rea Reviews: Moon Knight


[STRUCTURAL spoilers for Moon Knight]

Moon Knight, the newest six-episode series from Marvel, is nearly finished. The show, streamable on Disney+, follows a Jewish-American mercenary with dissociative identity disorder – meaning he maintains at least two distinctive personalities. In addition to this, he is the conduit for the Egyptian moon god, Khonshu. Unable to enter the material plane, Khonshu chooses a champion through which he executes his will, dubbed the Moon Knight. This is Marc Spector, one of the characters’ personalities; his alternate personality Steven Grant also having access to his powers. They’re both played by Oscar Isaac. The series’ villain, Arthur Harrow, is a religious zealot attempting to free the imprisoned demon Ammut.

Moon Knight is best described as an unfrosted cupcake. Mild and bland most of the time; a relatively unremarkable thing. But if you’re starved for something sugary, it’s delicious and exciting. You want more. The plot of Moon Knight is incredibly slow moving, it creeps along just quickly enough to keep you interested and ensnared. It gives you information very slowly and deliberately, done to hook the watcher into coming back next week for another episode. Moon Knight is a show that has intriguing material, with beautiful cinematography, wonderful acting, and a great score to boot. The people who really carry the show, however, are Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke. Isaac convincingly portrays two men in one body, very different personalities who are nonetheless thrust into a wild adventure together. And Ethan Hawke carries with him a quiet and menacing aura that makes every scene he’s in a better one. Their combined talent make this an excellent series. As for the individual episodes…

Moon Knight‘s pilot, “The Goldfish Problem,” is exuberant. Its wonderful color palette and magnificent but simple scenery combines flawlessly to create a visually appetizing mood for the episode. It’s clear that a lot of thought was put into making the episode have a common theme and tone. However, the otherwise incredible pilot of Moon Knight leaves the viewer wanting more action. As it’s told from the perspective of Steven Grant, all the fight scenes with Marc Spector are cut out to create a disorienting, slowly unfolding narrative rather than a quick, dynamic one. Oscar Isaac plays the character perfectly, he convinces the viewer that he has multiple personalities stuck in his head. It’s a very well-done and enjoyable episode.

The second episode, blandly labeled “Summon the Suit,” is just as slow and uninspired as its title. The cinematography and perfect writing are no longer present, and the plot is paced even slower. For the first time, we see the use of the Moon Knight suit and actually get some action. However, this episode leaves us with more questions than answers. We learn about Marc’s wife and she brings questions upon questions about what has been going on with Marc. Although this episode was less interesting than the first, it had more comedy which still made the episode relatively interesting. 

The cute and interesting third episode of Moon Knight is fittingly dubbed “The Friendly Type.” The plot progressed more than most episodes, we are now aware of the full situation in the world of Moon Knight. This episode was a return to form for the show. It is just as interesting and well-done as the pilot, and while it can still be slow, its pacing adds so much to the relaxed and enjoyable watching experience when watching. There is a lot of action in this episode, and we see just how skilled of a fighter Marc is. His dynamic with Steven is a lot of fun to watch. However, the current tone is slightly goofy. The show isn’t tense, whether that is a good or a bad thing, it is nice to have a good show that isn’t deadly serious but still has some action.

As for the next three episodes, my thoughts are similar – delicious unfrosted cupcakes. I won’t be reviewing them for the sake of brevity. Moon Knight is a 3½ on the Rea-ting system. Though it can be slow and lack tension, there are still enough excellent elements to make it worth the watch.

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