Moon Knight

“Moon Knight is unlike anything we’ve seen before from the MCU. It’s a psychological thriller with a touch of Indiana Jones, it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. And Oscar Isaac delivers a mesmerizing performance.”

Moon Knight is debuting tomorrow on Disney Plus with the first episode. Disney shared with us the first four episodes to give us the full scope of what to expect from this new Marvel series. It’s the latest entry of the MCU since Spider-Man No Way Home.

Moon Knight isn’t necessarily a character well known by the general audience but fans of the comics do know who he is. When the series was announced, I remember being excited about it. I love the character in the comics so I was intrigued to see what the MCU would do with him. It’s not an easy project to make. Indeed, it deals with dissociative mental disorder. Plus, it has a darker tone than other characters the MCU brought onto the screen. So, is this series a successful new chapter of the MCU?

THIS IS A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

STORY

Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The series follows Steven Grant, a gift-shop employee plagued with blackouts. He has dissociative identity disorder and discovers that he shares his body with the mercenary Mark Spector. As they have to deal with their complex identities, they also have to uncover a mystery among the Gods of Egypt.

First of all, this series is unlike anything we have seen before from the MCU. Very much like WandaVision, it tries something new. And it succeeds in doing so. It mixes different genres. Mainly, it’s a psychological thriller. Though, as the story moves forward it also incorporates the adventure genre. There is an Indiana Jones touch to the series. It also reminded me of The Mummy because of the Ancient Egypt elements of the story. Since it deals with the Gods of Egypt, there is also a supernatural aspect. The mix of all these different elements makes this series so captivating.

Oscar Isaac as Mr. Knight in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Considering the subject matter, Moon Knight has a darker and more serious tone. But, it also maintains the humor we know from the MCU to lighten the mood from time to time. There isn’t too much humor, just the right amount of jokes. Because it’s a psychological thriller, it has an oppressive and anxious atmosphere. And I absolutely love this! It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I think it’s exactly the right atmosphere when you have a character like Steven Grant who deals with a dissociative identity disorder. Indeed, Steven struggles with who he is because he is not alone in his body so it creates a lot of tension. That oppressive atmosphere reinforces the tensions inside Steven’s mind. It’s thrilling.

Furthermore, at its heart, it’s an in-depth character study about two broken men – Steven and Marc. Thus, the story feels quite intimate. I love this type of storytelling in the superhero genre because it’s character-driven. It allows the filmmakers to dive deeper into the characters’ minds and show us their complexities.

CASTING

Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Oscar Isaac delivers a mesmerizing performance. He conveys all the complexities of Steven/Marc in a meaningful way. I think it was a great idea to have an English accent for Steven and an American one for Marc. It further helps differentiate both characters.

When it comes to villains, Ethan Hawke delivers a terrifying performance. He has a calm but menacing presence. Hawke plays the type of villain who thinks he is the only person who can save the world and thus he will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. That’s a compelling villain. Plus, having Ethan Hawke in the MCU is a great surprise. I love this actor, he’s incredibly talented. And having him played a villain was the right fit for him. On a side note, Ethan Hawke’s character Arthur Harrow is an obscure character from the comics. Indeed, he appeared in Moon Knight #2 in April 1985. It’s fascinating how the MCU just took that character and created something different with him.

As for the moon god Konshu, F. Murray Abraham voices him. And I think they couldn’t have found a better actor for this character. Abraham’s husky voice is perfect for a god.

SOUNDTRACK

Ethan Hawke as Arthur Harrow in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Hesham Nazih composed the score. It was the first time I heard his work and I have to say I’m impressed! As a matter of fact, he did a great job! His score adds a lot to the oppressive and anxious atmosphere of the series. I do hope the MCU uses him again for future projects.

The series also features famous songs that do fit with what’s going on in the scenes. And the use of Wham!’s ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ is absolutely weird (in a good way) because it just works with the context.

VISUALS

Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

From the settings in London to Egypt, Moon Knight is visually stunning. Gregory Middleton’s cinematography keeps the series grounded and helps build the oppressive atmosphere.

As for Moon Knight’s costumes, he has two. Both are featured on the official posters. There is a white suit, it’s a very simple design but it fits its purpose. My favorite of the two costumes is the “superhero” costume. It has a wonderful design. I love the use of bandages, it’s reminiscent of mummies. It’s also great that when the cape is fully spread out, it forms a crescent moon – the symbol of Moon Knight. As usual with the MCU, we always get excellent costume designs!

VERDICT

Moon Knight is unlike anything we’ve seen before from the MCU. It’s a psychological thriller with a touch of Indiana Jones, it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I love how the series balances different genres to create something truly unique. At its heart, it’s an in-depth character study and Oscar Isaac delivers a mesmerizing performance.

Moon Knight starts streaming on Disney Plus on March 30.

 

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