Well there You have it. All four of The Defenders now have their own series as we now wait in anticipation for the culmination of all of them this summer. It seems like barely three years ago Charlie Cox headlined Daredevil and later that year, we got Jessica Jones. Last year was Season 2 of Daredevil and in November was Luke Cage. Now it’s Iron Fist.
Iron Fist follows Danny Rand (Finn Jones) as he re-emerges in New York some fifteen years after he and his parents plane crashes as they were headed for China. You won’t forget this important detail as Danny makes sure you remember it EVERY step of the way for its 13 episode run. What would slip your mind however, is the process or (at least one would think) hectic and strenuous journey Danny who is supposedly meant to guard a mythical city would have. But don’t worry that’s the least….the very least of what is wrong the show.
You know, Danny’s job is to protect K’un-Lun (The very mythical place) but he left and came back to New York. One minute he doesn’t want money or anything to do with his father’s company, the next he’s whining about how it’s his father’s legacy and all the possible clichés you’ve most likely seen time and again in this scenario. It’s a cheap knock off from the well-written and most importantly, well acted stories we’ve seen in Nolan’s Batman Begins and Iron Man.
The billion dollar question is why spend half of the series on corporate meetings and The Meachums in disbelief that Danny is you know….Danny. When Joy found out it was him through a game of M & M’s they did when they were kids it makes you wonder why so much time was wasted on one dull overused trope in Hollywood. As for the Meachums, their whole arc could be taken away from the show and it would still make sense. Hell, it might just be better for it because of all Iron Fist casting decisions, The Meachums should have been relegated to a lesser degree.
Ward Meachum’s character is someone I thought I’ll never see in a Marvel Netflix show mostly because they’ve managed to avoid giving actors roles we’ve seen so many times before on-screen. Tom Pelphrey is a great actor no doubt. His role in Banshee proved that. But to simplify his talents to that of Daddy Issues, corporate meetings and so on was just a very bad way to go for the writers.
One thing that can be simplified however, is that Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) was not just interesting to watch. Honestly the best thing her character did was leave an Easter egg about Jessica Jones. Then at the end of the series she somehow wants Danny dead? It’s hard to understand her motive. Of all the Meachums she’s the one that supports Danny the most, protects him, etc. I just don’t get it. It makes no sense along with so many other things on this show.
Harold Meachum (David Wenham) was another character wasted with poor writing and lack of direction. It wasn’t until the end of the show that the creators realised they missed an opportunity to really have a compelling villain that would have really been a threat to Danny.
Amongst the many bad things about the show there are some good moments/characters. Danny’s use of his fist is always a welcome addition. Jessica Henwick is compelling and charismatic as Collen Wing. Words that can’t be used about her co-star. Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Ann Moss) only has a handful of episodes but makes the most of it with her charm, clever wits and “assets”. Rosario Dawson makes her fourth entry into the Marvel Netflix-verse and injected some much-needed life into the show when she came in the 7th episode up unto the finale. We finally see how well she’s trained since the end of Luke Cage and it’s not good because the fight scenes are terrible.
For a show like Iron Fist based deep in martial arts and kung-fu origins you’d think Marvel would do their best to perfect the fight scenes and make them engaging enough to be better than Daredevil’s. Nope. Instead what we get are quick cuts, sloppy edits and just terrible, blasphemous fights; something I expect to see on the CW superhero verse.
At times when I watched Iron Fist it felt like a blooper reel and that’s because Finn Jones is just bad. It might be down to him, it might and most likely be down to the awful dialogue and a weak script. Either way it just didn’t fit. Mike Colter wasn’t that great as Luke Cage either in terms of his acting but it worked most likely because of the supporting cast and his no-nonsense approach fight scenes. Would he have helped Finn Jones and the show by being a part of the series like it was done with him on Jessica Jones and Punisher on the second season of Daredevil? We may or may not know considering the approach they take if season 2 is announced or their rapport on The Defenders. You look at Finn Jones fighting and recharging his chi (he never stops saying chi) and it’s just a joke.
It would be criminal not to mention Madam Gao, whom whenever on-screen just steals the whole scene much like she’s done many times on Daredevil. Again another missed opportunity. There were times when I felt exploring her history with the Iron Fist would have been the best route to go for the first season along with Davos, yet another character that came later on in the series who would have been best introduced earlier on instead of all the soapy drama and cheap dialogue at the beginning. The show has cringe-worthy levels that rival Suicide Squad and boy that’s saying something.
Many times in the show Danny is questioned by villains and partners alike what kind of Iron Fist he is or wants to be. If the show and Finn Jones can’t figure this out in the future, it would take a whole lot less than fifteen years for him to be forgotten.
Rating – 5.6/10