Secret Invasion should have been a home run with the talent involved but somehow Marvel managed to make it boring and lifeless; it has a couple of decent action scenes and explores themes of paranoia but the story rarely gets exciting or tense, so by the time it was over I was just glad I didn’t have to sit through it anymore.
Plot: Fury and Talos try to stop the Skrulls who have infiltrated the highest spheres of the Marvel Universe.
Review: The Marvel shows have been of varying quality lacking the scale of the movies (obviously) but I find for the most part they are just plain dull and Secret Invasion may well be the worst one yet. It has a fantastic cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson (returning as Nick Fury), Emilia Clarke, Ben Mendelsohn, Olivia Coleman and Don Cheadle who are all wasted in unexciting roles. Don Cheadle may be the most interesting but I won’t say why in case of spoilers and Oscar winner Olivia Coleman steals every scene she is in.
I was hoping it would be the best of the Marvel shows but it lacked dynamism in practically every way. There wasn’t enough action and the majority of the series is just people talking and I never cared about the characters or what was going on.
The last two episodes had a few decent action scenes and the highway attack is arguably the highlight of the series but it’s only during a climactic fight between Clarke and the villain that it feels like Marvel. Personally, the MCU should have ended with Endgame or least taken a break for a few years as it all feels directionless; the first 3 phases all felt coherent (despite a few ups and downs) and led up to the big showdown with Thanos but these shows tend not to go anywhere and don’t really add anything to the overarching story.
I liked the opening credits theme as it actually has a memorable tune which is rare in the MCU and Kingsley Ben-Adir was suitably hateful as the villain Gravik. Sam Jackson has a few entertaining Jackson-esque moments but there’s just not enough happening in this show to make you desperate to see what happens next. I just kept watching because I knew I had to review it but I could have tuned out after the second episode and never given it another thought.
Overall, Secret Invasion is one of Marvel’s dullest outings to date; it has decent performances and there are some mildly interesting themes of paranoia but we’ve seen it all done before and better. Die-hard Marvel fans may find more to enjoy here than I did as I’m not a comic book guy but I found it profoundly uninteresting.