So I just finished watching Iron Fist. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was good. Even though it was well done, and I liked it, I want to start with the problems in the series.
Of the four Marvel shows on Netflix, Iron Fist is the weakest. I think some of that stems from what the protagonists are struggling against outside of their vigilante personas. In Daredevil, Matt Murdock is blind and is an independent lawyer trying to go up against some of the powerful New York law firms. In Jessica Jones, the titular character is dealing with PTSD as a result of psychological assault. Luke Cage is an escaped convict living in black Harlem fighting against corruption in local government and the police force. Danny Rand, from Iron Fist, is a white billionaire who’s company board is more concerned with profits than people. (♪ One of these things is not like the others ♪)
The villain in the series was also a little weak, but that may just be because the other Netflix shows have had such fantastic villains. Kingpin and Kilgrave are two of the best villains to come out of the MCU. Iron Fist doesn’t have a villain on that level. Instead, the series makes the Hand organization the primary villain, and different individual villains fade in and out as the episodes progress. Sometimes that’s effective since it mimics the lack of certainty that Danny feels throughout the series, but it also makes the series less focused.
One of the biggest disappointments was the fight choreography. Daredevil has had some brilliant fight scenes, so I was hoping to see something on that level, but Iron Fist just isn’t there. Rand is supposed to be one of the greatest martial artists in the world, but he really lacked the grace that I would have expected someone with his level of training to have, especially when going up against lesser opponents.
Having said all that, the series is still really good. Marvel’s spoiled us a little in the quality of the shows they’re producing. Even Iron Fist, which I admit is the weakest of the Netflix series, is far better than so many other shows out there. The acting is solid throughout. The atmosphere and mood of each episode fits the story so well, and there’s a great combination of mystery and action. Iron Fist didn’t have the humor that many of the others series have had, but it was still really effective in building and releasing tension.
I also felt like Iron Fist was a great set up for the Defenders series coming later. The first pieces started coming together in Luke Cage, but Iron Fist moves them into the positions that will be needed to get the four heroes together. My guess is that Danny Rand will be one of the most important members of the superhero group, partially because of his wealth and resources, but also because of his background and knowledge.
Iron Fist is the first of the Netflix series that I’ve really jumped into right away. I waited a while before starting all of the others, and I didn’t really binge watch many of them either. I’m glad I did with this series. It’s very well done, very entertaining, and left me excited for the team up series.