This Inhumans review has no spoilers.
A Marvel’s Inhumans TV series makes sense. An Inhumans IMAX movie does not. That’s the problem with simply combining the first two episodes into a movie. The very idea of putting this in a theater is problematic and serves no purpose. Inhumans in IMAX has been marketed as special and ambitious. It’s not, and it comes across as merely a scheme by IMAX and Marvel.
Taking risks is commendable, even if those risks fail. On the surface, the Inhumans theatrical premiere has been marketed as a risk. And in some ways, it was. We’ve never seen a TV series in IMAX quality. Medusa’s hair looked awesome. Lockjaw looked great (considering he’s a full CGI character). The brief glimpses of Attilan were… okay. But aside from that, the IMAX experience did not complement the first two episodes of the series. Inhumans will look and feel better on your 42-inch HD TV.
August is a dry month for big Hollywood releases, and this is a pretty clear attempt to just get people into the theaters. Marvel brings in the big bucks for IMAX. Every Marvel movie is a hit lately, and compared to DC, Marvel can’t do wrong. That’s the whole problem. Neither company really had anything to lose by putting this into production. It’s a safe bet, even if it’s not the best. The series had to be filmed anyway, so why not just double up? It really wasn’t a risk at all, when you think about it.
The IMAX experience did not offer fans anything more than what they’ll see on TV for free. In fact, it actually offered less. Not only are they asking for 20 dollars, you’re actually seeing less footage than what you’ll see come Sept. 29 on ABC. All this being said, the ABC series still holds promise.
Separating the IMAX experience from the ABC experience is the fairest way to judge this project. It will be interesting to see how (or if) Inhumans will have a direct connection with Agents of SHIELD, which will head into its fifth season after the Inhumans finale on ABC. SHIELD informed viewers about terrigenesis, introudced us to Quake and Yo-Yo, and explored the dynamic between Inhumans and humans on Earth after the Sokovia Accords intorudced in Captain America: Civil War.
But even with SHIELD propping up the Inhumans storyline, there are still problems heading into the TV series, corporate decisions about IMAX aside. Performances from some of the supporting cast were average at best, Crystal and Gorgon in particular, at least partly because the dialogue did not give them much to work with. Just likeMarvel’s Iron Fist, also from writer Scott Buck, there were a few cringeworthy moments.
There was very little depth on display in the first two episodes of Inhumans, aside from Maximus’ compelling and deceitful monologues. It takes awhile to get used to a character who never speaks, but Black Bolt’s silence and body language does become extremely intriguing when he arrives on Earth. You’ll leave wanting to know more about Karnak’s powers. While Medusa’s character development felt rushed, you’ll still feel invested in the progression of her story (watch Cape Talk if you want to know why). The series also leaves off in a place that’s better than where it started.
If IMAX had made the premiere of Inhumans something more special, perhaps by including footage that wouldn’t be seen on ABC, or incredible shots of the Attilan landscape, this would have been worth the trip to the movie theater. However, the IMAX experience felt like watching a TV series on ABC while pressing fast forward, instead of a well thought-out and executed feature film based on a TV series.
The final verdict: wait until Sept. 29.