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Inhumans was supposed to be a theatrical film but plans for that have since been scrapped and we were given an 8 episode series instead. For those who don’t know. Inhumans are super-powered humans who’ve gained their powers through what is known as terrigenesis. They were first introduced two seasons of Agents of Shield. The season started off with plenty of fanfare as it was the first television program to ever premiere on IMAX screens.
Unfortunately, the IMAX experiment proved to be a failure with both critics and audiences with its 2 week limited run ending ahead of schedule. This wasn’t unwarranted, however, as the 2 episode premiere was simply terrible in every regard. The writing and direction were atrocious, the acting was wooden, and the special effects and production values were mediocre at best which just looked worse when exposed by IMAX during the first two episodes. Unsurprisingly, nothing improved from there.
The Inhumans lived a mostly sheltered in the hidden city of Attilan, on the Moon. They were ruled by King Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and his wife Medusa (Serinda Swan). When Triton (Mike Moh) was sent to Earth to help any emergent Inhumans caused by the worldwide Terrigen contamination of Earth’s water supply was apparently killed, Black Bolt’s brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon) uses the event as a cause to stage a coup, taking over Attilan and planning their return to Earth. The coup displaced the rest of the Royal family throughout Hawaii.
The first couple of episodes focused on the Royal family trying to find each other, with each running into different humans along the way, so they can take back Attilan from Maximus. Over time, they learned that humans weren’t so bad after all. Meanwhile, Maximus was trying to undo everything that Black Bolt and Medusa did out of jealousy for not being king. The problem was that it was difficult to care about any of them as they were all paper thin. Perhaps that’s a byproduct of a short season but they still could’ve been handled differently. We did get flashbacks, however, it didn’t really matter all that much. Being Inhumans, they all had powers but they didn’t matter as they were all very lame, not just because of the mediocre special effects, they were just very lame.
There were some human characters including one that appeared in the TV version of the premiere which was a woman named Louise (Ellen Woglom) who worked at a private aerospace company as their space and lunar expert. One day she noticed a hoof on the moon left by a member of the Royal family named Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor). Spurred by her curiosity, she set out to investigate what she saw and eventually stumbles onto the Royal family in Hawaii. She basically provided a human perspective and when contrast with the Inhumans occasionally provided a comic relief, however, most of it wasn’t funny as it came off as forced.
The first 6.5 episodes looked to set up a final showdown between Black Bolt and Maximus but not even that happened which shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise and was just the last among plenty of disappointments. The Inhumans eventually fled to Earth and what could be a definite ending to what was intended to be a miniseries though it is unlikely that the show will continue past this season.
The acting was not good at all but it wasn’t all the actors’ fault since the writing and directing were both atrocious and they couldn’t quite overcome their characters being lame. Mount was the lead as Black Bolt, a character who couldn’t talk, communicating through sign language. This did not make him the most exciting character to watch as he failed to convey any emotion through his facial expressions or body language. Swan was okay despite appearing to not care. Rheon phoned it in as Maximus while channeling some Ramsay Bolton. Everyone else, including Ken Leung as Karnak and Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, were cringe-worthy.
Overall, this was a disappointing series, from the terrible trailers to the terrible end result. The move from feature film to miniseries should be the indication that there was probably something not right. What had promise was simply let down by its horrendous execution in every aspect from the writing, directing, acting, and production values. If the series were to come back, which it most likely won’t, then it would have to be overhauled from the bottom up for it to have any chance to succeed.