GODS OF EGYPT
Although they detonated due to their violence or their atmosphere a bit darker than the usual Marvel Studios productions, the first two episodes of moon knight remained subject to the narrative and visual codes of the MCU and it seemed like a long primer of the plot to follow in Egypt. Being a native of the country and a filmmaker who deals with Egyptian culture and society in his films, Mohamed Diab, already director of the first chapter, returns behind the camera for this walk through the land of the pharaohs.
This change of scene is also accompanied by a change of point of view: after two episodes through the eyes of Steven Grant, it is now Marc Spector’s turn. show your mercenary skills as Layla joins him and Arthur Harrow continues to search for Ammit’s grave in the desert with his magical scarab.
With their fight on the rooftops and the chase in the streets of Cairo, the series ostensibly borrows from in search of the lost ark et Unexplored in its atmosphere of uninhibited adventure against a backdrop of mythology. Without being incredible, the action is clear, readable, and Oscar Isaac can take advantage of his athletic qualities and Marc Spector’s chatter, much more effectively than Steven’s taunts.
A new ellipse interrupts the confrontation and reveals the existence of another killer identity as yet unknown (possibly Jake Lockley), and then the relationship between Marc and Konshu deepens even further, with a differently introduced moon god. While he was just a great voice who spent his time treating Steven like an incompetent, Konshu ultimately emerges as a ruthless and deceitful deitywho seems willing to do anything to achieve her ends, in particular to manipulate Marc and take advantage of his problems or his feelings.
Hoping to convince the other gods to help him stop Arthur Harrow, Marc requests an audience with them and the series then reveals the powers of Konshu, who manipulates the Moon to attract the attention of other Egyptian deities. However, here again, instead of experimenting and exploiting the multiple possibilities that this revelation offers, the episode only offers a simple encounter between avatars in a dark and unfortunate setting with the bare minimum in terms of art direction and lighting
Marvel obeys, the seriousness and dramatic tension of the scene is defused by the absurd screams of Oscar Isaac and this divine audience is not only contradictory (since Konshu demands from the gods exactly what he reproaches Arthur Harrow for), but above all it is not just one more step leading to the next artifact return.
Walking on the moon
After a conversation between Marc and Layla in which it is confirmed that it is indeed a modern and Egyptian reinvention of Marlene and that Moon Knight was born as in the comics, the series presents another character linked to the lunar vigilante, one of her great rivals: Anton Mogart, embodied by the late uliel gaspard.
This last role will not remain one of the most outstanding of his career, perhaps because it is limited to only an ambiguous figure and a few lines of dialogue, but the short time he appears, the actor achieves it when even in elevate your character through your talent and charisma. His corporeality, his magnetism and his insolent elegance lead the thief and art collector, who resembles a James Bond villain, to correspond quite well to the atmosphere of the beginning, even if he is only present to prepare his return as Midnight Man.
In what becomes a gag as pointless as it is inexplicable, Arthur Harrow crosses paths with Marc Spector and shakes his glow stick again while reciting magical formulas to show that he is very, very strong before disappearing as fast as he came, then the scenario continues once more with an action scene, as in the first two episodes.
Besides the fact that Moon Knight’s costume now makes him invincible, the series seems unable to feature its hero in action once it’s underway, whether you’re taking on a digital monster on the street or a gang of thugs in an arena. Among the digital movements, the indigent edition or this truly unbearable humor that is interrupted by the slightest outburst of violence or anger, this fight is just as disappointing and run-of-the-mill as the ones in the first few episodes. Maybe a little more, but just as bad. Crescent moon cape or not.
After reversing the dynamic between them, the episode shows Steven Grant and Marc Spector working together to solve their stellar puzzle, leading to speculation that the hero’s different personalities could possibly co-exist in one body. But as often emotion is swept away by the imperatives of the stage and Konshu, who further reveals the extent of his powers by once again manipulating the sky against a screaming green backdrop.
These abilities make Moon Knight even more powerful and open new perspectives, but they come a little more bury the idea of exploiting the border between madness and reality with Marc and Steven. An uncertain bias, especially if it only serves to lead the hero through the already hackneyed plot of losing his powers.
In the same way as for Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, whose touch was only found in a poor horror sequence and some shots in the second episode, Mohamed Diab’s contribution is never felt on screen. The production format remains identical to other Marvel Studios productions and the representation of Egyptian culture (which, however, the filmmaker wanted put forward) is reduced to a few busy streets, a jousting ritual on horseback and pieces of Egyptian music among the traditional pyramids and mythological statues.
This trip to Egypt is ultimately just a new frustration. The shaky writing, frenetic pacing, tacky action, and lack of inspiration continue undermine the few qualities of moon knight. Without Konshu to protect them, Marc and Steven will now take their chances in search of Arthur Harrow. Now that it’s halfway through its season, it would be nice if the show did the same.
Moon Knight debuted March 30 on Disney+ with a new episode every Wednesday.