I went into the “Moon Knight” premiere on Disney+ completely blind and was pleasantly surprised by the introduction of Steven Grant (AKA Moon Knight) to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The episode begins with Steven, played by Oscar Isaac, waking up, unlatching a chain from his ankle, checking the sand around his bed and removing a piece of painter’s tape off the door to his bedroom. We learn later that this is Steven’s routine because he thinks he sleepwalks and ends up in different places.
The real reason is much more frightening.
Grant’s real name is Marc Spector, a mercenary who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). His other personalities include both museum gift shop worker Grant and the vigilante Moon Knight. In order for Grant to prevent his other identities — which he has no knowledge of — from doing things in his sleep, he tries to stay awake for as long as he can.
Obviously, this doesn’t work, and he ends up in a strange town with a cult-like figure, played by Ethan Hawke, who decides the fate of people by a pendulum that judges a person’s past, present and future actions.
A very interesting fight scene follows where Grant phases in and out of consciousness while a disembodied voice tries to control his actions. Unknown to Grant, Moon Knight stole a golden scarab from Ethan Hawke’s character. Moon Knight tries to control Grant by telling him not to give up the stolen artifact, but Grant continues to fight him. At one point, Grant phases back to him holding a now bloody succubus after killing a few men.
A frightening and confusing image for all viewers.
The confusion I experienced during the episode made me curious to figure out how these characters will work together in the same body, unlike when I watched the first episode of “WandaVision” back in January 2021. My initial confusion and frustration at the plot of “WandaVision” turned into an emotional rollercoaster with Wanda’s struggle.
I hope Marvel uses the same techniques from “WandaVision” to confuse and withhold information from viewers in “Moon Knight.”
Oscar Isaac does a fantastic job playing a British character even though he’s a Latino actor. I loved him in the Star Wars sequel movies, so seeing him play a role in another popular franchise is great. I only wish he could play more characters connected to his ethnic heritage.
No Marvel movie or show has had a scene where I was actually scared. “Moon Knight” changes this with a monster near the end of the episode. It’s inhuman, long, tall, fast and reminds me of Gollum from “Lord of the Rings,” but much more deadly.
I appreciated the build-up to this final fight because Grant has no idea what’s going on for most of the episode, much like the viewers, and is confronted by his inability to control the disembodied voice in his head.
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Rarely have Marvel series felt cinematic, but this new one might change the game.
For anyone new to the MCU, “Moon Knight” is an easy way to learn about a new character beyond the main timeline of popular Marvel movies. I’m excited to see where this series goes, but I’m anxious to see if it will live up to the expectations other Marvel series have set in the past.