Anson Mount (left) as Black Bolt and Iwan Rheon as Maximus in Marvel’s Inhumans
Marvel’s Inhumans are ready for action.
ABC’s new superhero show has been touted as the first television series to debut in IMAX before hitting the broadcast airwaves. Which, in turn, raises the question: is this really worth the IMAX treatment?
We’ll have to wait a few more weeks for a definitive answer to that one (Inhumans hits IMAX Sep. 1). But in the meantime, ABC’s trying like hell to convince potential fans that it is.
To that end, they treated the Comic-Con audience to four lengthy clips, three of which featured very different types of action.
One spliced together footage of two different but apparently simultaneous fight scenes. Up in Attilan, Karnak (Ken Leung) uses his superpower — finding the flaw in anything — to best a group of guards sent to capture him. Visually, his ability manifests as multiple bodies and lines of light, as he weighs the potential outcomes of any one move.
Down on Earth, meanwhile, Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor) demonstrates raw physical strength. He creates a shockwave by stomping his superpowered legs, and then kicks and punches his way through the armed soldiers who are trying to take him out.
Both were decently entertaining in the context of Comic-Con’s Ballroom 20, but neither screamed "you must see this in IMAX" — at least not to this reporter.
Another action scene answered the question of what Medusa’s prehensile hair would be like in action. Long story short, it’s weird.
Hopefully it’s the kind of weird that viewers will get used to, but in the few minutes we saw, it was a relief when the camera zoomed in for a close-up so we didn’t have to see it moving around.
But the scene that made the strongest case for seeing this in IMAX was the opening — a foot chase through a rainy island jungle on planet Earth.
Director Roel Reiné employs dramatic angles and slow-motion to try and make the experience more exciting. Ultimately, though, it’s still not quite impressive enough to justify the IMAX surcharge.
The former Ramsay Bolton steals the throne – and the entire show with it.
In fact, the best "special effect" of Inhumans – the one aspect that makes this show look like it might be worth following from week to week – doesn’t really involve any technical wizardry at all. It’s Iwan Rheon’s performance as Maximus, Black Bolt’s jealous younger brother.
Game of Thrones fans know Rheon has no trouble going dark and twisted, but Maximus is a different kind of performance — less mustache-twirling villainy, more dangerous-but-compelling antagonism. Think of a small-screen Loki, but sadder and less seductive. (Not an insult, by the way — it works for Maximus.)
That may not be the kind of highlight that sells IMAX tickets on a slow weekend, but it’s the kind of highlight ABC can build a show around. Let’s just hope the rest of Inhumans catches up to Maximus eventually.