The first episode of Moon Knight is finally out on Disney + after much anticipation and hype. And i personally got to say that it is off to an interesting start while i have my concerns. Personally i have not read much of Moon Knight’s comic runs. But from what i have read the character is defined by his mental illness, along with the hard edge his comics almost always seem to have had. So i was curious how such a character who is very brutal and weird will be bought to the MCU.
In the show we at first follow Steven Grant played by Oscar Isaac who is a mild-mannered gift-shop employee. He is meek and seemingly has insomnia. He is barely able to function as a normal human being having blackouts and weird dreams. Steven keeps finding himself in places that he has no damn idea how he has reached there. While he keeps hearing the name “Marc” thrown at him during these which leaves him confused. And during one these blackouts Steven runs in to Arthur a religious zealot worshiping the Egyptian goddess Ammit who seemingly recognises him as Marc. This is the basic hook of the show and is interesting and commenting i would recommend tot try. But to go into what worked and what did not i will need to delve into mild spoilers. So be warned.
Steven in the show clearly has DID/ Dissociative identity disorder just like the comic Moon Knight who has many overlapping personalities. The show has decided to start out with Steven who has no idea that there are other personalities that he has. This is fascinating to watch and Oscar Issacs is excellent in the show. And i think that Ethan Hawk is also really good the antagonistic cult leader.
The problem of the show is that many other components of it pull it back from being the best it could be. Kevin Fiege has actually stated before the show that “We’re not pulling back. There’s a tonal shift. This is a different thing. This is Moon Knight “. But unlike what Kevin Fiege has said the show does seem to be have rounded the edges of the source material and pulled back on the punches. The acting is not supported by the action scenes which are lacklustre. The brutality of the character is toned down at least in the first episode. This is similar to how i felt about the Loki show which feels like it bogged down by the MCU from becoming something better. I hope it is not the same situation here.
Moon Knight on a whole is pretty good with excellent acting by Oscar Issacs and an intriguing story. But is plagued with lacklustre action scenes and the feeling that the show was toned down from something more brutal and effective. Hopefully the next episodes pick up on these aspects.