starring: oscar isaac, May Calamawy, ethan hawke, and Gaspard Ulliel
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Steven Grant and mercenary Marc Spector investigate the mysteries of the Egyptian gods from inside the same body.
When I was a tween the 1999 action adventure The Mummy was one of my favourite movies (along with The Mask of Zorro and Entrapment - but that’s a story for another day). The action packed adventure, the archaeological mystery, the hammy laughs, and the horror that the resurrected mummy inflicted on the world was so damn entertaining. So when the first trailer dropped for Moon Knight with its throwback to ancient Egypt all while set around the British Museum (one of my favourite museum’s in the world) I knew this was the series for me. But Moon Knight is so much more than that. Marvel has upped their game yet again. With a superb lead performance from Oscar Isaac and an action packed historical mystery cloaked in myth at its core, Moon Knight is unlike anything that you’ve seen from Marvel before. One of the best TV series of 2022.
The story follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.
I get it. When anything Marvel hits the big or small screen some people will flock to it saying that it's the best thing that they’ve ever produced, that it's a classic, insert your chosen hyperbolic statement here. But seriously - Moon Knight is brilliant, soulful, innovative television.
From the mystery gnawing at you throughout the first four episodes regarding how and why Steven Grant and Marc Spector share a body to the detail of the Indiana Jones like historical quest, Moon Knight draws you deep within its story and will have you counting down the days, hours, and minutes for the next episode to drop.
The scale of the whole series is next level and is cinematic in scope from the exotic locations to the intricate and detailed Egyptian sets. It feels very much like you’re watching a Marvel movie and not a TV show. The action is insanely good with a hand to hand brutal battle played out across London rooftops being one of the highlights in the series so far.
For a film that is closer to The Batman in its darkness than anything that has come before in the MCU, Moon Knight still has some dark, dry humour that cuts through the seriousness of it all with some delicate romantic and human touches as well that helps to really ground the series. The mental health aspect of the film is handled extremely sensitively and respectfully, while shedding a necessary light on the stigma that unfortunately is still attached to mental health.
Oscar Isaac is superb as Steven Grant/Marc Spector, crafting a subtle performance that is filled with a lot of soul and he straddles the quite different characters of Grant and Spector with ease. May Calamawy is a wonderful surprise as the kickass Layla and would easily be one of the most well developed woman characters in the MCU and one of my favourites to boot. Ethan Hawke isn’t some megalomaniac or deformed villain but has some pretty guy next door kind of vibes. But it's in the normal, everydayness that he brings to the character of Arthur Dallow that makes him utterly terrifying.
Marvel has upped their game yet again. With a superb lead performance from Oscar Isaac and an action packed historical mystery cloaked in myth at its core, Moon Knight is unlike anything that you’ve seen from Marvel before. One of the best TV series of 2022.