Thanks to the debut of its first two episodes in IMAX theaters at the beginning of this month, Marvel’s Inhumans is heading into its television premiere with some of the worst negative publicity the MCU has ever received. While The Incredible Hulk and Thor: The Dark World are generally viewed unfavorably, Marvel has had quite the track record in theaters. As for TV, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started off rocky but has grown into a critical hit, while even Iron Fist managed to win over some fans. However, no Marvel project has yet received the kind of exasperated befuddlement that has met Inhumans.
From confusion over where the budget went to the amateur directing to stiff actors in cheap costumes, Inhumans has won itself very few fans. And in critical circles, things have been a nightmare. The show’s first two episodes currently sit with a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and even Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn doesn’t have hope in the show’s future. Here are some of the most scathing reviews from critics.
‘Iron Fist’ looks like ‘Citizen Kane’ next to this slapped-together, incoherent, cheap-looking mess. - Variety
So far, the writing is bad, the editing is atrocious, the costuming looks cheap, and most of the acting is wooden. There are in-episode flashbacks to events that took place less than five minutes earlier, as if we would want to re-live any of it (or as if it’s our fault that things are so badly put together that we might not be following the story). And despite everyone else having an American accent, Rheon retains some of his Welsh lilt, which he told us at the TV Critics Press Tour earlier this summer was his attempt to sound a bit “Moon-ish.” - Collider
Inhumans is legitimately the worst Marvel adaptation of the year (yes, even beating out Iron Fist). In fact, as far as terrible Marvel adaptations go, you might have to go all the way back to Roger Corman's unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four film to best it. - Indie Wire
There are so many boring ways to portray a fantasy civilization, and Marvel’s Inhumans has them all. See: Attilan, the top-secret moon city populated by a frowning race of gene-tweakers. There’s a lot of black leather, a heavy architectural fascination with gray-block geometry, spheroid chambers, proletarian mobs. It’s like X-Men movies before they got colorful, or the Matrix movies without the dance party. There’s a strict Metropolish [sic] caste system, and everyone carries a personal communicator, a wrist device that beeps whenever someone needs a plot point and unfolds into a skinny touchscreen. Yes, here in our decadent age of Hollywood superheroes, someone finally made a high-tech slap bracelet. - EW
If you want thoughtful writing and production value worthy of the Marvel name, well, you might want to look elsewhere. - E!
Was Buck chosen because Marvel needed someone who, like premiere director Roel Reine, was on board with getting this done fast and cheap to make the IMAX deadline? Or because Marvel execs had blinders on about how Iron Fist was going to be received? It can’t be because he had some kind of elaborate vision for how to tell this particular story, because time and again, the Inhumans premiere seems to go out of its way to avoid or outright eliminate anything even vaguely unique about these characters. - Uproxx
Inverting the traditional drug dealing formula, Marvel decided to give viewers a first taste of Inhumans at inflated and entirely unjustifiable IMAX theatrical costs a couple weeks back before bringing the superhero dramedy to the more reasonably priced terrain of ABC starting Friday (September 29). Frank Sinatra and others sang about the best things in life being free, but at least now the same is true of the worst things. - THR
There's a lot about this series that's beyond comprehension, human or inhuman. - AV Club
At best, Inhumans resembles a mediocre '90s syndicated genre series, and blowing it up to IMAX size just puts a bigger spotlight on the flaws. - Las Vegas Weekly
With the show's recent television premiere, it appears viewers didn't think it was much better than the critics as it aired with mediocre reviews. So much negativity leading into the first season and the premiere offering very little to praise in the adaptation, things aren't looking good for the potential future of the series.