Wait, Does Moon Knight's Bad Guy Have The Same Plan As An Edgar Wright Villain?

This post contains spoilers for "Moon Knight" episode 2.

"Moon Knight" is officially a third of the way through its six-episode run, with the first two episodes now available on Disney+. This is essentially playing out like a long movie split up into six parts, which is kind of how a lot of these premium streaming shows are going these days. I say that to caution that we clearly haven't learned everything there is to learn about this corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe just yet, but what we have learned has paved the way for an interesting (if unexpected) bit of pop culture comparison. 

Amazingly enough, it's starting to feel an awful lot like this show's villain has an eerily similar plan/goal to a villain in Edgar Wright's 2007 buddy/cop comedy "Hot Fuzz."

Arthur Harrow's quest for the greater good

In "Moon Knight" episode 2, we get a little more development in the evolving relationship between Ethan Hawke's Arthur Harrow and Oscar Isaac's Steven Grant/Marc Spector. When Arthur encounters Steven again, it is with an air of calm as he understands the situation better, and tries to appeal to the man's reason rather than let this devolve into a fight. As a result, Arthur takes Steven on a tour through one of his communities. Arthur explains that they have made something of a little paradise, where everyone gets along and nobody feels the need to lock their doors. Everyone helps everyone else, the food is free, and everything seems to be in service to the greater good.

Does that phrase sound familiar? To those who have seen "Hot Fuzz," it very well might, as the villains of that film use the phrase "the greater good" to describe the goals of their seemingly devious and violent plans. The idea is that Timothy Dalton's Simon Skinner and the rest the Sandford leadership have been committing violent acts to help keep their little town nice and perfect. To do that, Skinner and others, such as Jim Broadbent's Inspector Butterman, the father of Nick Frost's Danny Butterman, have done all sorts of unspeakable things, including a great many murders over the years. But to this crazy cult of folks living out in the countryside of England, it's all in service of "the greater good," as they say.

Circling back to the Marvel, while Arthur doesn't come right out and use that phrase, the "balancing of the scales" he's been doing throughout the first two episodes — killing those who may end up committing evil deeds (even if they haven't done so yet) — is very much about the greater good as he sees it. Yes, there is a supernatural/magical element to all of it as this is a superhero show, but the larger beats really do mirror what Edgar Wright was doing in "Hot Fuzz." The citizens of Sandford were quite happy, and the citizens of Harrow's little idyllic paradise seem to be as well. They have free food. They are all educated. Everyone looks out for one another. It's all quite nice if you can get over the whole "we had to kill a bunch of people to make this happen" thing.

It is certainly important to point out that we don't know the full scope of Arthur's plan yet, and that by the end of it, the differences between the villains in "Hot Fuzz" and "Moon Knight" could be far greater than the similarities. For now, it's pretty compelling.

Damn fine company to be in

Does it seem a bit strange at first glance that a Marvel villain appears to be borrowing from the playbook of Edgar Wright and a buddy/cop comedy led by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost? Yes. That having been said, the MCU is well over a decade into its existence and the whole thing could do with a little change. "Moon Knight," thus far, feels pretty refreshing and unique within the larger franchise. And, even if the comparison is a bit odd, you could do a whole lot worse when it comes to unlikely cinematic companions.

15 years removed, "Hot Fuzz" remains an absolute masterwork. Not just because it's hilarious, but because Wright remembered to actually make a great movie underneath all of the comedy. If you take the comedic beats out, you still have a cop movie that works, with villains that are compelling and a twist that packs a punch. It's no secret that the villains have often been some of the weaker points within MCU projects. So, taking a pointer or two from Wright, unintentional though it may have been, is a damn fine place to draw inspiration from. And it really does make one wonder all over again what it might have looked like if Wright had made his version of "Ant-Man" instead of having him pull out at the last minute over creative differences. Was that in service of the greater good? A question for another time, perhaps.

"Moon Knight" is streaming now on Disney+, with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.