Critical Condition: Luke Cage

Luke Cage (Netflix, from Friday)


Luke Cage is vital and alive and of-the-moment. It sings with the rhythms and swagger of Harlem and it’s a genre show that wears its intellectual curiosities like a badge. It’s so satisfying as badass street poetry and muscular urban renewal parable that after watching the seven episodes made available for critics, I barely cared that as a superhero show, Luke Cage is often repetitive and a little underwhelming. It’s the logical extension of Marvel’s niche-y approach to its Netflix offerings, a specificity that has yielded shows that are far more provocative, but far less universally accessible than the company’s blockbuster movies.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

“A wildly charismatic performance by star Mike Colter and solid work from the rest of the show’s cast are usually enough to power this addition to the Marvel TV universe through its rough spots, which include a somewhat clunky pilot and a notable tendency to sprawl (a common trait among streaming and pay-cable dramas, and not just in the superhero realm). A viewer does not have to have seen Daredevil or Jessica Jones in order to watch Luke Cage; there are a few elements and characters that link the Marvel dramas, but each programme stands on its own.” — Variety.

“The flood of intricate artistic details colouring in every episode, as well as its thoughtful script and compelling performances, elevate Luke Cage into an immersive viewing experience that’s as sensually fulfilling as it is relevant. There aren’t many new shows this fall that merit the designation ‘necessary viewing.’ The undeniably cool Luke Cage does so, meaningfully.” — Salon.

“The Marvel/Netflix collaboration has so far proved darker and grittier than the comics giant’s big-screen outings, focusing on street-level do-gooders instead of giant ships hovering over vulnerable cities … After Daredevil and Jessica Jones it’s the turn of Luke Cage (Mike Colter), previously introduced as a supporting character in Jones – and at least on the basis of the first half of the season, this may be Marvel and Netflix’s best effort to date.” — The Telegraph.

“In a vanilla sea of lily-white superhero shows, Marvel’s Luke Cage offers something valuable and rare, a saga about a black man of steel. Race is intrinsic to his character and adds provocative dimension to his genre archetype … Like Christopher Reeve, Colter holds the screen with confident charisma and makes his too-good-to-be-true dude completely credible. Now he needs an entertaining show worthy of him.” — Entertainment Weekly.

“Mike Colter as Luke is a physical marvel and an appealing center of moral gravity in a show that all too often telegraphs its plentiful punches and twists.” — TV Guide.

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2 Responses to “Critical Condition: Luke Cage”

  1. Watched the first episode but a bit slow. Not sure about the rest of it.

  2. Surprisingly superb portrayal of a 3rd-rate Marvel character.
    Every aspect of this works. Superheroes do not need tights. The best Marvel/Netflix show yet.

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