#FIRSTLOOK: MARVEL STUDIOS’ “MOON KNIGHT”
By Justin Waldman
Disney+‘s latest Limited Series gives audiences a first time look at a brand- new Marvel character, Moon Knight. This is the first time that Marvel has given audiences a show that introduced a main character into the MCU via a show instead of a film. Moon Knight needs the span of a series to flesh-out his character and ideology, which might have been lost amongst the shorter runtime of a film. We get almost six hours to know his character and understand his powers.
The Series centers on Marc Spector/Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac), a worker at a museum in London, there is nothing exciting or particularly interesting about his character at first. That is until he comes home, and we see him shackle himself to his bed as he has a tendency to sleep walk and wander off. This is where things take a turn for the weird, as he becomes a completely different person and is somehow in Europe fighting mercenaries.
As the Show continues, we find out that Marc/Steven are actually a symbiote in essence for a Moon God named Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) and he is really Moon Knight, a protector of secrets who ensures that evil does not reign supreme. Without giving away too much, Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) who is an assistant to the Egyptian god Ammit, who weighs peoples’ good and bad through touch, and if it turns out they’re evil (or are going to commit a heinous act) he kills them in the name of Ammit.
What works really well in Moon Knight are the performances from both Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke. Both manage to deliver on the chaos and passion their respective characters face, and even with the jarring aspects of the Show, they manage to hold our attention and make us crave more. Isaac plays in essence, three separate characters and delivering one of the most specific British accents, manages to deliver some sheer joy and unintentional chuckles. He captures Moon Knight‘s essence and makes him an unstoppable force. Hawke is quite possibly the most menacing he’s ever been on-screen. He proves that he can be terrifying and rather unnerving in his portrayal of Arthur Harrow but this captivates the audience and wants you to indulge further into the character and have a lingering sense of fear.
Moon Knight is risky for Marvel. It is unconventional and pushes the boundaries of what audiences are expecting from their properties. It almost feels hyperbolic to say that this is unlike any Marvel property audiences have seen thus far, because it is such a cliché to state that, however Moon Knight is unlike anything we’ve seen by Marvel. It refuses to adhere to linear storytelling. While there is a lot going on at times especially when switching between Mark and Steven, the risks paid off. It seems that going to smaller Filmmakers is the direction the Studio is going with, and honestly this innovation continues to help them thrive with their best output yet. Taika Waititi‘s Thor Ragnarok is a prime example of that, but so is the choice to have aboard Series Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. If this is the future of Marvel, investing in creative minds and letting them shine, and we will continue to get things like Moon Knight that break the mold, then it is a very promising future ahead.
MOON KNIGHT streams on Disney+ Wednesdays at 12am PT/3am ET starting with Episode One on Wednesday March 30th, 2022.