This review may contain spoilers. From the Netflix synopsis:
Danny Rand resurfaces 15 years after being presumed dead. Now, with the power of the Iron Fist, he seeks to reclaim his past and fulfill his destiny.
The early reviews for this show were a mess. Critics seemed eager to tear down this show and racism controversies were going around SJW circlejerks online. I will not get into that for I am not a reader of the comics and I do not get why some people are insisting Danny Rand be Asian.
While I do pay attention to reviews, they do not dictate my decisions to watch a certain show or not. I have been a fan of the Marvel Netflix shows, so I was for sure watching the last intro installment of the Defenders. So let’s just get into it.
Unlike Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, Iron Fist does not hit the ground running. What it does different from its predecessors though is it got stronger mid-season. It’s still not the best writing out of the Defender series, but calling it a failure is not fair.
What I think is the strongest part of the series are the characters. My loyalties were all over the place episode to episode. These characters are not living in a black and white world, as we are. Circumstances in a person’s life make them who they are, and we can’t expect everyone to abide the same moral code as we do.
Take Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey), I hated this face right from episode 1. He seemed the very typical scummy businessman, always out for blood, only thinking about the big bucks. But as the series goes on, we see that Ward is in a very emotionally abusive relationship with his father. We can’t be sure if he can be a capable businessman if he stands on his own because he has always been following orders. Sure he did embezzle company retirement funds to his own accounts, but only because he wanted to be free of his father, and live for himself. It does not excuse his actions, but it gives us perspective.
Most of the complaints against Danny Rand (Finn Jones) are because of him being a generally shitty Iron Fist and also a generally shitty adult. We must realize though that he didn’t grow up in modern society, with (relatively) normal people and interactions. There was no one to teach him how ruthless international companies can be, and that no matter how much he wants to help people, you can’t sell a drug at cost if you want to look at the big picture. He still acts like a teenager, very emotionally-fueled and naive.
None of the villains in Iron Fist have been as compelling as Fisk or Kilgrave, or even Cottonmouth, I’m not even sure who the big bad of the season is supposed to be. Was it Harold Meachum (David Wenham)? As much as I love the character and his insanity, I’m afraid his villain arc also suffered from the weak writing.
I’m not an expert in fight choreography nor do I engage in martial arts myself, but I can appreciate a nicely choreographed fight scene. The show also had a hallway fight scene, but it was much less convincing than the hallway fight scenes from Daredevil (both seasons). I think it’s fair to expect better fight choreography from Iron Fist, a character who was raised fighting in it.
And what the hell was that very sudden face-heel turn from Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) at the end there? It was never established that she was beginning to resent Danny, even when she was bleeding from her stomach on her father’s couch, she was still defending Danny.
I really hope Finn Jones is continuing his training right now, I do not want him to be outshined by Daredevil in fight scenes when Defenders rolls around.
Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 1
6/10 would still recommend to Marvel fans