Marvel's The Inhumans has had a troubled history. First slated to be part of the #MCU's Phase Three, the studio fell suspiciously silent after announcing the movie in 2014, and many suspected it would never get made. Later, Marvel Studios made the decision to shift The Inhumans to TV, after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. set up the Terrigenesis that brought out the latent Inhuman gene in Earth's population. Bafflingly, it was then announced that the premiere of The Inhumans would debut on IMAX screens before it shifted to ABC. Now we've caught our first glimpse of this experimental new show in the first trailer — and it looks like #Marvel has made its first major mistake. Check it out:
With a confusing beginning — these people live inside the moon and we're just supposed to accept that — the trailer only goes downhill from there. This first look will hardly persuade people to see the IMAX debut; do we really want to see such low production values up close and blown up as big as a house? Marvel looks to have really stumbled with this one — so could The Inhumans herald the end of the MCU's golden era?
This Trailer Doesn't Persuade Anyone To Shell Out For IMAX
The Inhumans trailer jumps straight into Iwan Rheon's curiously accented Maximus monologuing over shots that lack context of the Inhuman royal family. Even to someone who knows the concept, this is difficult to follow, and for a casual audience this trailer does nothing to explain who these people are — and why we should care about them.
As the trailer wears on, Rheon continues to chew scenery at such an alarming rate that the moon might fall from the sky by the time he's done gnashing its walls. There are plenty of shots of the Inhumans' home, all of which look like they were filmed inside a producer's luxury mansion, and the costumes somehow look more cartoonish than their comic book versions.
Then there's Medusa's hair, which ripples and flows in the comics, curling in anticipation of a battle and filling entire pages — while these live-action locks just fall flat and drab around Medusa's shoulders.
'We Need To Go To Earth Now!'
Maximus demands that the Inhumans go to Earth, right now, for no apparent reason. To rule, perhaps? It's difficult to piece together exactly what's going on, but we get more shots of Black Bolt in a cell — with little explanation as to who he is, why he's imprisoned, and why he hasn't said a word (his voice is Earth-shattering). This last part is revealed at the end of the trailer, but his small grunt is so easy to miss that at first I thought they'd changed his powers to telekinesis — or maybe just bad gas.
Anson Mount's Black Bolt has no charisma. Stony faced, his few reactions are so wooden that it seems like he just doesn't care what's going on. And too bad if you're interested in the other characters, because the trailer certainly isn't. Not to mention, we're left wondering how these Inhumans connect to those in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So much for Marvel's connected universe.
The Inhumans Could Be Marvel's First Misstep
The Inhumans are very difficult to adapt for live-action audiences, being some of the most exaggerated and overdramatic characters in Marvel's roster. Until now, the MCU has been relatively grounded, slowly introducing more fantastical elements through Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange. That being said, it's still a lot to ask of your audience to take the huge jump of logic required for us to believe the Inhumans live in the moon. The show doesn't seem to be doing anything to justify the setting, or the characters' strange mix of melodrama and glassy-eyed dullness.
Simply put, to make the Inhumans work on screen, you're gonna need some damn good writers and directors, not to mention very high production values. Right now the whole thing looks like a low-budget, fan-made version of a hokey comic, only with none of the charm.
Forget the grander MCU movies that merit an IMAX release, The Inhumans reminds me of the hated superhero flicks of yore — the first Daredevil, Ryan Reynolds' overly CGI-ed Green Lantern, or even the benippled Batman & Robin. These films are notorious because they perfectly demonstrate what not to do with comic book adaptations, from bad costumes to corny dialogue to confused storytelling — and Marvel seems to have fallen into every one of these traps with The Inhumans.
Marvel is in a shaky position right now. After almost a decade of movies, fans are starting to complain that all the #MCU flicks follow the same formula — Ant-Man and Doctor Strange recycled the Iron Man plot, while Civil War lacked impact after The Avengers and Age of Ultron featured the team arguing with each other.
With the DCEU on the rise, Marvel must keep on its toes and give us something new (thankfully, Thor: Ragnarok looks to be exactly what we need, while the first reviews of Spider-Man: Homecoming are positive). But The Inhumans is already threatening to be a monumental flop — both critically and financially — and there's no doubt this will tarnish Marvel's standing as a franchise titan.
Ultimately, though, there's just one question I have after watching this trailer: Why the hell didn't they give The Defenders an IMAX premiere release instead?
Tell us in the comments: Are you going to see The Inhumans on the big, big screen?