Title: Moon Knight.
Number of episodes: 6.
Release Date: 2022.
ORIGINAL NETWORK: Disney Plus.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy.
Series Direction By: Mohamed Diab (4 episodes), Justin BEnson (2 episodes) & Aaron Moorhead (2 episodes).
Writer: Danielle Iman, Doug Moench, Don Perlin, Jeremy Slater, Alex Meenehan, Peter Cameron, Sabir Pirzada, BNeau DeMayo, Rebecca Kirsch, and Matthew Orton.
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke, May Calamawy, Michael Benjamin Hernandez, F. Murray Abraham, Ann Akinjirin, Karim El Hakim, and many more!
My Overall Rating:
Under enough duress, any individual can wind up insane. The mere torment and ceaseless hassle of enduring unforgiving and unstoppable pain, be it psychological or physical, would leave the most mortal of individuals begging for an exit, a way out of the nightmare, and an opportunity to relinquish the evil they’ve inevitably withstood to embrace the peace they ever so crave. Sometimes, the coping mechanisms that are thus developed are beyond our grasp and bring us to places our minds would’ve never thought of going. Set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and part of its Phase Four slate, this six-episode long TV mini-series introduces actor Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant, also known as Moon Knight.
What is Moon Knight (2022) about? The story follows Steven Grant in his quirky, socially awkward, and amiable ways, going about his usual business as a gift shop seller within a museum in London. As his day goes on, he slowly learns that he might not be aware of everything he’s been up to lately, as if his body might have been inhabited by another owner when he’s asleep. When he least expects it, he discovers that he might also be a mercenary with dissociative identity disorder and was granted deadly and mysterious powers by an Egyptian moon god. What he then embarks on is a journey, unlike anything he’s imagined, pitting him against powerful foes in the midst of a war of the gods.
Still within its more formulaic storytelling framework, this Marvel event wanders outside of its usual box to explore a complex and darker character in all of its wacky splendour. Inevitably, the story takes its time in introducing Steven Grant’s character and obsession with Egyptian mythology, successfully tying it all together with his unknown personality, and then with his supernatural alter ego. Once his childhood is also explored, the character’s journey becomes one of acknowledgment, one where this new reality is the one that he has to make peace with. Furthermore, as the villain’s motives are also revealed and the story’s mythological elements become predominant, the series falls back to its traditional superhero antics (e.g. larger-than-life conflicts) but allows itself to play with the protagonist’s mental health condition in a way that assures novelty and lunacy.
The show’s success does hinge on actor Oscar Isaac’s engrossing portrayal of dissociative identity disorder. His ability to switch around between different accents, expressions, and demeanors is formidable. Convincing and authentic, he juggles his multiple identities with flair and brio, delivering a much-wanted fan depiction of Moon Knight. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of his show partner and antagonist, Ethan Hawke, who plays the cult leader Arthur Harrow. His character, although convincingly evil and bearer of the show’s central ideological war, debating free will versus determination, often feels monotonous in execution alongside the rest of the cast. May Calamawy’s character of Layla El-Faouly is also fine in her role, bringing into play a complicated romantic affair and an unresolved past into the plot.
A special mention goes to F. Murray Abraham serving as the voice actor behind the moon god Khonshu, who brilliantly conveys the deity’s mischievous yet righteous voice. The CGI utilized throughout the series isn’t mind-boggling but is sufficient to help capture the protagonist’s journey and the creepy supernatural elements. The action sequences, although limited, pack quite the punch and help, with each additional scene, establish Moon Knight’s powers and abilities, while also showcasing the hero’s original and source-material adequate costume design. There are also some gorgeous scenes that are shot throughout the series, some respectfully and beautifully showcasing Egyptian landscapes. While there are no plans for a second season or a teaser of Moon Knight’s return anytime soon, it is clear that he’s sure to make a surprise appearance in future MCU movies, and this mini-series built up every fan’s appetite.
Moon Knight (2022) is an invigorating, zany, and poignant introduction to a complex character rooted in Egyptian mythology who goes up against a resolute foe defending precrime beliefs.