Review of Oscar Isaac’s ‘Moon Knight’

Last year, Marvel made a serious run at using streaming TV to do something qualitatively different than what it does on the big screen.

“WandaVision,” the first of its series to stream on Disney Plus, the studio used familiar characters to animate a story that, in its early going, was substantially more pliable and strange

than what they were willing to attempt in a heavily leveraged movie. “WandaVision” played with the nature of its reality, and did so using characters familiar from more conventional works.

That series ended up, in its final moments, reverting to form; despite terrific work by Elizabeth Olsen at its center, the conclusion of “WandaVision” looked like a Marvel movie.

Now the studio steps yet further out with Moon Knight its fifth live-action Disney Plus series, and its first to be solely based on a character who hasn’t yet featured heavily in onscreen adventures.

Here, Marvel’s attempting to do something it hasn’t lately done: Break a new character through the medium of TV. And “Moon Knight,” an adventurous limited series

suggests a way forward for a content-creation engine that’s come to feel overwhelming. There’s a freshness to it that’s enticing even for those outside the fandom.

A huge part of that is owed to Oscar Isaac and to Ethan Hawke, two actors whom the series trusts with edgy material that makes the first “Doctor Strange” look, well, like Doctor Normal.

We meet Isaac as Steven Grant, a museum gift-shop employee who’s haunted by what happens in his mind when he sleeps, when he finds himself overtaken by a force he cannot understand.