Directed by : Mohamed Diab, Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Written by : Michael Kastelein, Beau DeMayo, Peter Cameron, Sabir Pirzada, Alex Meenehan, Rebecca Kirsch, Matthew Orton, and Danielle Iman
Starring : Oscar Isaac, May Calamawy, Karim El Hakim, F. Murray Abraham, Ethan Hawke, Ann Akinjirin, David Ganly, Khalid Abdalla, Gaspard Ulliel, Antonia Salib, Fernanda Andrade, Rey Lucas, Sofia Danu, and Saba Mubarak
The theme of the year 2022 seems to be disturbed cape-crusading dudes motivated by a vaguely-defined sense of vengeance. Because that’s what Marvel Studio’s latest offering feels like; vague.
Moon Knight follows Steven Grant and Marc Spector, two personalities stuck within one body as they find themselves entrapped within a grand conflict between ancient Egyptian gods.
Marvel has utilized their Disney+ shows to expand characters that were previously underserved in the movies with the likes of WandaVision that dives deep into the Scarlet Witch’s grief and how Hawkeye was able to show audiences the massive personal stakes that the character carries everyday despite his mundane nature.
But Moon Knight is the first of its kind, it’s introducing a new main character into the MCU with this new medium — but most importantly — it is doing so without the stewardship of veteran characters.
Which essentially one of its strengths, if it wasn’t for the bombastic Marvel fanfare that plays in the beginning —you wouldn’t know that this was an MCU connected project. Moon Knight feels fresh and detached from the ongoing shenanigans of the universe that it apparently inhabits, which tightens its narrative and liberates the show from having to rely on flashy cameos to keep audiences on their toes.
Tone is another thing that this show excels in. Psychological thriller is the genre that Moon Knight is taking on, the intrigue between Steven Grant and Marc Spector’s personal journeys is a joy to watch on scree. As well as their banter as they make their way through this weird and twisted Egyptian odyssey.
At its core it is truly Oscar Isaac’s incredible performance that drives the show to great heights. Isaac’s personality shifting isn’t just cheaply done by alternating accents. There’s subtle nuances between his facial expressions and a calculated attempt in crafting the mannerisms of both Steven Grant and Marc Spector respectively .
The other cast members such as May Calamawy’s Layla is a joy to watch with Isaac, especially the alternating chemistry she has with both the Grant & Spector persona. But Ethan Hawke’s debut in the MCU leaves a lot to be desired. While his performance is great to watch — as one would expect from Handsome Hawke — the writing for his character is fairly one-note with a lot of fluff to prop up his fairly hollow motivations.
Moon Knight falters by being rather dull when it delves into the lore that it desperately tries to craft. There’s a lack of cohesion and synergy between the entertaining characters it features and the actual lore that is being presented on-screen — making the latter feel like an absolute chore to go through.
Oscar Isaac’s great performance as the fist of Khonshu himself is enough to carry Moon Knight over the proverbial finish line. But outside of Isaac, the series feels like an over-prolonged movie rather than a 6-part event.
Moon Knight is Now Available on Disney+