As a longtime Oscar Isaac fan, I have no qualms or hesitations when it comes to saying that his performance in Moon Knight is by far his best one yet. And this is coming from someone who loves this “Space Latino” for what he gave us when it comes to everything that is Poe Dameron in the latest Star Wars trilogy and Duke Leto Atreides in Dune. If anything, it feels like Isaac has been working up to it, slow and steady, until he let everything go and gave us a standout performance as the character Marc Spector/Steven Grant aka Moon Knight.
Isaac succeeds in carrying this show on his shoulders due to the way he handled the duality between Moon Knight’s split personalities. Marc and Steven were distinct men who wouldn’t go gently into the night because the other existed. They consistently fought against each other, vying for control like anyone else would. And it was hard to choose which side you landed on because Isaac brought them to life with unmistakable voices, traits, and body language that made them fully-fledged people that you couldn’t help but empathize with.
Moon Knight as a show also succeeds because of the way that Isaac threw himself into the role. You could tell from every moment that he was on-screen that he understood the assignment. It was evident in the way he moved through the world as shy and awkward Steven as he tried to navigate his life as a museum shop employee. And it was ever-present when he transformed into Marc and showed this man’s physicality, bravado, and utter desperation to protect those around him from what’s to come.
Isaac’s time as Moon Knight is also a resounding success because of the chemistry that he has with costars May Calamawy and Ethan Hawke. Calamawy plays Layla El-Faouly, a character we don’t know much about but that we’ve seen in teasers that prove she knows Marc and his abilities in Moon Knight. And Hawk plays Arthur Harrow, the opposing force these two are fighting against. And Isaac’s chemistry with each of these actors leads to believable, complex, and eye-catching interactions that leave you wanting to know more about who these characters are and what they’re going to do next to reach their goals.
This Moon Knight review wouldn’t be complete without taking into consideration what Oscar Isaac represents for our communities and how this is “quite a moment,” according to the actor himself during a recent interview. For too long, our people have had to wait on the sidelines when it comes to representation. That’s not to say that side characters who are Latine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are any less important than Moon Knight. What I’m saying is that people from our communities deserve to see our people play the lead characters in stories like this. That distinction matters and my hope is that those in power, no matter what studio or streaming service they’re from, understand that we as a collective want more.
We need more.
We deserve more.
And we’re not going to stop until all of those in our communities feel seen like Moon Knight has done for many and will do when it premieres on March 30, 2022 on Disney+.