Netflix is back with the second edition of their Marvel web series, Luke Cage. This time, the story goes deeper and wider, and introduces a couple more characters in the saga that’s going on in Harlem.
It’s a couple of years after the events in the first season and everyone has evolved. Luke Cage is now facing what every superhero has felt sometime in his life – the prospect of making money off his new-found fame. Also, there’s another supervillain who’s out to get Luke’s old enemy, Black Mariah, but he doesn’t have any love left for Luke as well. Missy Knight is coming to terms with her mentor’s death and the harshness of re-joining the police force.
With the second season, Luke Cage expands not just the story line but also the characterisations. We see everyone evolving and taking life changing decisions – including Luke Cage – and all that seems par for the course. This series, however, stays true to the earlier template of slow-slow-fast that Netflix has been doing with its superhero series. The earlier season’s screenplay had several blind spots and some audiences weren’t in for the long drawl character setting conversation piece scenes. That’s toned down this time and you have more thrill factor than conversations this time around.
What’s Wow: There are some incredible performances in here. The pick of the lot is Alfre Woodard, who plays the main antagonist, Mariah Dillard. It’s her intense performance that picks up the pace for many of the scenes. She’s ably joined by Mustafa Shakir, who joins the franchise as Bushmaster McIver.
This isn’t to say that Mike Colter is bad as Luke. He owned the role in the first scene of the first season itself, and now, it’s just a matter of how many seasons he wants to be remain Luke. Special hat tip to the dialogue writers – who really go out on a limb to make the series relevant with harkbacks at real life events and characters. This is, of course, a double damnation for them – they not just brought Muhammad Ali to the Marvel Universe but Rhonda Rousey too – and all because of that one dialogue. This of course, makes the series more relevant and real.
The multiple director series brings to the fore the racial undertones that America is facing now, whether it is with long drawn conversation points or with outright sequences.
What’s Blah: Nothing
Parting Shot: The second season of Luke Cage makes it not just a comic book story, but a saga that will be itching for a season 3.
Directors: Lucy Liu, Steph Green, Marc Jobst, Salli Richardson-Whitfeld, Kasi Lemmons, Millicent Shelton, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Neema Barnette, Clark Johnson, Andy Goddard, Stephen Surjik,
Cast: Mike Colter, Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Gabrielle Dennis, Mustafa Shakir, Alfre Woodard
Luke Cage Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
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