Inhumans in IMAX an Insane Idea: Review

Inhumans in IMAX an Insane Idea: Review
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Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville nearly 20 years. Currently, he studies Journalism at Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Marvel’s Inhumans, the new superhero television series coming to CTV later this month, is premiering its first two episodes this week in an unorthodox way. Before its network broadcast starts on September 29th, the public can watch the first two episodes on the big screen in cinemas.

Beginning this weekend, the show’s opening episodes (called here Parts 1 and 2) are being shown in a special engagement on IMAX screens around the world. Fans in Oakville can see the limited engagement now playing on the IMAX at the Cineplex Winston Churchill theatre.

This isn’t the first time large-scale television has played IMAX; HBO’s Game of Thrones screened the last two episodes of season four in theatres back in 2015. That release was modestly successful, grossing nearly $3 million before the season five television premiere.

What makes Inhumans different is these are the first two episodes ever, and these theatrical episodes were even filmed on IMAX cameras to format the show for its theatres. (IMAX co-financed the series with ABC Studios earlier this year.)

The event continues to accelerate one of Hollywood’s newest trends, blurring the lines between film and television. As a critic, therefore, there are two things that must be addressed and reviewed. First, are the show’s first episodes entertaining? Second, is it worth paying to see the release in IMAX?

Sadly, the answer to both is no. Removing the theatrically and exciting scale and investment, this new series is horribly dull, shallow, and pedantic. The measly 81-minute runtime feels like twice that, and there’s nearly no action scenes or dialogue longer than a few sentences at a time.

The plot centers on a colony of gentler, subtler mutants (à la X-Men) living on the moon called Inhumans. After the king and queen are threatened, they escape to Earth to solve a family squabble between them and the king’s brother (trying to overthrow the throne.)

Photo: ABC Studios.

All of the lead actors are being coached to be as emotionless and subdued as possible, leaving long, tedious scenes where nothing really happens. The show’s tone is also unapologetically arrogant and dark, leaving an awkward first impression on the viewing audience.

The narrative is slow-paced, and this cinema premiere is filled with only the exposition of who the Inhumans are and what the conflict is going to be for the rest of the season. This would be more tolerable if the action and world set-up were more entertaining.

Inhumans was produced by Scott Buck, who also produced Iron Fist, another Marvel television flop from earlier this year, now available to watch on Netflix. Coincidentally, the recipe of a slow set-up and obnoxious characters are what ruined both hopeful series. Maybe Buck’s creative control has something to do with it?

And how does it look in the theatre? Sure it’s neat at first seeing the grand-scale television on the beautiful IMAX screen. But it also makes the tightly-budgeted and cheap special effects look horrendously outdated. The effects and soundstage sets and environments look jaw-droppingly awful, and the constraints of TV budgets are glaring.

If you’re still interested in watching the premiere and seeing the remaining six episodes of the first season, these theatrically released episodes will be the first to air on CTV for the series premiere on Friday, September 29th.

Until the air date later in a couple of weeks, I can’t recommend spending $19.25 in good conscience to see the Inhumans in IMAX. The prospect was interesting, but the executive was insipid and ridiculous. Hopefully, this half-hearted spectacle won’t ruin this release idea for other TV shows in the future.

You’re better to wait and see this lazy superhero series for free once you can. Or better yet, save you time and money and don’t bother seeing it at all.

Marvel’s Inhumans (Parts 1 and 2)
1 out of 4 stars

PG, 81 minutes. Superhero Drama.
Directed by Roel Reiné.
Starring Ansom Mount, Serinda Swan and Iwan Rheon.
Now Playing exclusively at the Cineplex Winston Churchill IMAX screen. Limited engagement runs until Thursday, September 7th.*

*Note: While the special engagement of Marvel’s Inhumans was only scheduled until September 7th initially, ABC Studios has hinted the show may extend its release an additional week until Thursday, September 14th. Full showtimes for the Oakville IMAX screen are available at https://www.cineplex.com/Theatre/cineplex-cinemas-winston-churchill.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY SEPT. 6: Cineplex has announced Marvel’s Inhumans will be extending its limited engagement screening in Oakville until Thursday September 14th at Cineplex Winston Churchill. There will be one daily showing from September 8th until the 14th at 1:45pm. Tickets are available at https://www.cineplex.com/Movie/marvels-inhumans-the-imax-experience.

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