Saturday, April 1, 2017

(TV SERIES) Marvel's Luke Cage - Season 1

After watching Daredevil and Jessica Jones (which I could not believed I had not written at all about that series), I was surely compelled to watch the 3rd superhero in this Marvel Cinematic Universe on TV. It was intriguing to find out if the series was also as interesting as the previous two. As mentioned in my earlier posts, I had been busy completing other series which I had started before and did not have the chance to watch newer series. That is until I saw the news that the 4th superhero Iron Fist already shown few weeks earlier. So I immediately allocate my time to watch this one starting from few days ago. What's the series all about? Let's find out, shall we?

Brief Story Line

After the events from season 1 of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage (Mike Colter - Million Dollar Baby, The Good Wife TV series etc) was now working in a barber shop owned by Pop (Frankie Faison) in Harlem. At the time, Harlem was "controlled" by a big bad underworld boss named Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes (Mahershala Ali -  Free State of Jones, Moonlight etc) who owned the largest nightclub there. Luke was working double in the nightclub as a dishwasher but he did not want to have anything to do with the nightclub's side business.

One night during his shift, Luke was asked to stand in for the bartender who called in sick. While tending this, he met a mysterious lovely woman who would later revealed to be Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and was immediately attracted to her. It was unclear what Misty's intention was as she kept on looking at Cornell's activity in the VIP room.

Meanwhile Cornell was actually having a meeting with another gang leader and also his cousin Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard - 12 Years a Slave, Annabelle etc) who happened to be councilwoman of Harlem city but also as dirty as Cornell. They were having a dealing involving large amount of money for the purchase of guns. However, things became very complicated when the transaction was disturbed by the robbing of people working in Pop's barbershop.

Cornell was very upset and worried as the guns were acquired from another even worse gang boss called Diamondback who had assigned his thug, simply referred to as Shades (Theo Rossi - Sons of Anarchy TV series) to help Cornell clean up the mess. The robbery which resulted to some people getting killed was being investigated by detective Scarfe (Frank Whaley) and his partner.

This robbery would start the continuous chain of events that would involve lots of brutality and gang wars, plus the disclosure of dirty cops and politicians in the city of Harlem. Luke Cage who had been trying to avoid any spotlight on him because of his background and "superpower" of self healing and bullet proof plus super strength, had no choice but to be involved in all these matters after an incident that left him without any options. He would be assisted by Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson - Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Lego Batman Movie etc) who he had known since the days in Hell's Kitchen. 

So could Luke Cage able to "clean" Harlem up? What was so bad about his background that worried him if it was found out? And where did his superpower actually came from? You would find them all once you complete this series.

End of Brief Story Line

This 13 episode series was actually felt a bit too long. I had to admit that I found it a bit boring. I do not know why the series was dubbed as very good by critics or audiences. I personally felt that out of the 3 Marvel superheroes already shown through Netflix, this is by far the least superior. The first few episodes were showing the introduction of characters which despite their good characterization, felt they were not too interesting, aside from probably Cornell.

Furthermore, I think another point that made me disappointed is the villains were not having real cool superpower. Although lots of other Marvel villains do not possess super powers either, they were very interestingly disturbing and psychotic. In here the villains seemed to be sad rather than scary. The fight scenes were not too many either. In Daredevil, there were so many of those. While in Jessica Jones, though not as many, but the villain's super power was very dangerous and scary.

Finally another point that disappoint me was the fact only 1 character who crossed over from the other series (Claire). At least in Jessica Jones, Luke Cage was already introduced. I was hoping there would be a glimpse of Iron Fist in this series. After all there was supposed to be a mini series involving all 4 superheroes (including Iron Fist). But there was none of him in here.

One good thing is the fight scenes were actually pretty good and well coreographed. While the special effects were pretty decent and the drama were ok, but not without touching moments. There were not too much mystery as well. Oh ya, there was a bit of sexuality scene in the first episode but other than that, it was quite safe to be watched by younger audiences. Though I doubt they would be able to enjoy a less than spectacular series with not a lot of action scenes.

So if you are looking for a cool superhero movie with lots of cool fighting and cool villains, then this definitely did not fit into that category. However, if you are looking for a different kind of superhero who was more of a darker kind with less than interesting villain (not the super villain type), then you could probably enjoy this like other people who seemed to be entertained with this series. The choice is yours.

Mike's movie moments rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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