Luke Cage Review: Third Tries the Charm

“Knock down a few doors and you think that makes you Harlem’s Captain America…”

The series follows Luke Cage; an indestructible man with a past, as he struggles in trying to protect his adopted home of Harlem from the likes of the gangsters who are ruining it.

The best part of the series by far is the Music. The soundtrack is an incredible combination of Rap, Jazz, and Hip Hop. There are many moments in the season, where there is music playing in the background in live concerts and the characters will stop and listen to that concert and it does not take away from the story at all.

Other great aspects of the season stem from the characters, the cinematography, and the fight choreography. Luke Cage is a great character, he has a great arc of development through the season. There is also an incredible villain portrayal by Alias Cottonmouth. He is threatening, menacing, and sympathetic. You really understand his motivations and internal struggles; he steals every scene he is in.

The cinematography is incredible throughout. The most notable example is in the first episode with Cottonmouth standing in front of the Biggie photo. The series also does a great job in making the audience care about Harlem, with showing the street art, shots of the city, and the food. Lastly, the fight choreography obviously does pale in comparison to other series, but with the concept of Luke’s powers they are done very well, especially when people are shooting at Luke and he is simply walking casually and when he is tossing bad guys to the side with ease.

However, once again there is no such thing as a perfect series. The third act of the season makes some very questionable, and some downright stupid decisions all of which stem from the introduction of a new villain who falls flat in motivations, and overall performance. While I myself did not hate it, it is understandable why others did.

The season as a whole was not perfect, but it was an overall enjoyable 13 hours and worth watching. From the music, great performances by Colter, Rossi, Missick, Woodard, and especially Ali, the great fight choreography, and themes. Yes, the third act does take quite a few rough turns, but they are able to be looked past.

Luke Cage is the third Marvel Netflix series and the first season was released on September 30th, and stars Mike Colter as the titular character, along with Maershala Ali, Simone Messick, Alfre Woodard, Theo Rossi, Rosario Dawson, and Erik LaRay Harvey. It consists of thirteen hour long episodes and is rated TV-MA.

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