Iron Fist Season 1 Review.
For last couple year’s we, as an audience, expect nothing less than excellence when new Marvel-tagged properties are released whether that be on the big screen or TV. After 13 hours of Netflix’s Iron Fist spread across two days, I can say with all honesty I enjoyed it, but I didn’t adore it. This was good, but not great. And for Marvel, good is not good enough when the set bar has been ‘Excellence’.
There were huge issues and just plain old lazy story-telling, and even though there just weren’t enough PROs to outweigh the CONs, I still enjoyed what few PROs there were to enjoy my time watching the show.
So, here are my PROs, CONs and Ultimate GRADE for Netflix’s Iron Fist:
- The biggest highlight for me was the chemistry between ‘Game of Thrones’ alumni’s Jessica Henwick and Finn Jones who play our leading roles Danny Rand and Colleen Wing I was rooting for them through the whole show.
- (Most of) The characters: Jessica did the best she could with Colleen Wing and her character was great! The Meacham’s were great, although we spent more time with them than we should have. Finn Jones was better than I thought he would be as Danny, not so much as Iron Fist and it’s always great to have Rosario Dawson’s Claire.
- The Hand were better here than on Daredevil, I guess.
- Villains: Having two villains that offer two types of opposition for our protagonist, Harold as the psychological villain and Bakuto/Madam Gao/The Hand who offered a physical challenge to Danny.
- One of the best scenes for me, was the beautifully shot last showdown between Bakuto and Colleen, followed by the Danny v Davos. It wasn’t just how it was shot with the frame shots and the symmetry, but also the ideas. Sensei v student and best friend v best friend. With clear winners and losers on both sides, but it’s not as black and white as it seems to be.
–CONs (OK, here we go):
- Biggest CON: Martial Arts. A show like ‘Into the Badlands’ has shown that having an actor with a background in martial arts does make a difference. How many actors in pivotal roles in this show has a background in martial arts and is confident in doing all the stunts themselves? There were too many cuts during the multiple fight scenes that you start to think that the directors are just wanting you to figure out it wasn’t the actors doing the stunts.
- Character Motivations. Some of the biggest questions for our characters were introduced in the first couple episodes and not answered until later. Why the hell did Danny Rand leave Kunlun? This should have been addressed in the first episode! But it wasn’t fully answered until a few episodes later and not fully answered until the second half of the show.
- Character Decisions: There were too many times to count when a character did something that didn’t make sense or fit with their character. Lazy writing.
- Pacing: There were some storylines that should’ve just stayed in two episodes and not dragged out. Like Danny’s motivation, some storylines shouldn’t be dragged out the way it was.
- Settings: We spent too much time in settings we should never have, that time should have been used to help develop our characters. I found myself asking why are we in the Rand corporation too many times to count.
- WE DIDN’T EVEN GET TO SEE AN IRON FIST SUIT!
- So, the lead into The Defenders is what, again?
–Final Thoughts and GRADE:
Yes, I understand you’re hurt friend. But listen to me. We’re all human, we’re not perfect and Marvel definitely ain’t (looking at you Perlmutter). Not every show done by Marvel is going to be great, I mean just look at ‘Agents of SHIELD’. But I am here to tell you, there is a tomorrow. The world is still going to revolve around the sun and the machine keeps marching forward.
I liked this show, I really did. It’s not excellent, far from perfect, but I still found it fun, entertaining and a far better love story than Twilight. And though the CONs are many and they mean a big deal to the success or lack of, in the storytelling, there were times when the technical directing and beautiful frames within frames and shots were enough to overlook the other crap going on, and there was so much crap. But I will say I don’t think this show is crap and as bad as many people are saying it is.
Danny Rand/Iron Fist is arguably the greatest martial artist in the Marvel universe. By the end of this show, that didn’t translate as well as it should of for a character of his calibre in this universe, either by the lack of fight scenes or his dominance in them and by the obvious lack of skills by Finn Jones. Finn may be fit for Danny Rand, but probably not for the Iron Fist.
The story itself was far from great and wasn’t engaging. A lot of what I wanted to see wasn’t there, and what was explored was a waste of time because it leads nowhere. There were some horrid decision making when it came to the storytelling, why didn’t we find out about Danny and his motivations in the first couple of episodes? Why did the plot points drag out and have underwhelming pay offs? Where was the exploration of the Iron Fist mythology? Why did we spend more time in Rand corporation than in Kunlun? Why should I care about something if the main character didn’t? Danny left Kunlun for reasons unknown, and we don’t set foot in it enough to care. Danny only uses Rand company to advance his own secret plays, so why do we spend a lot of time there?
I know it seems that the show is crap, but I assure you it’s not, it may be closer to it than Agents of SHIELD, but not as close as Batman v Superman. I enjoyed the episodes as I watched them, I wouldn’t have binge watched 6 episodes in a row the first day, and then the other half of the show the next day if I thought it was total crap. I was really shipping Danny and Colleen. There was awesome chemistry between them and I felt the casting was perfect in that account. The villains are better than I thought they would be, and it was cool seeing Madam Gao back, and the Hand was more menacing but not as intimidating as they should be.
There are some improvements I could suggest, but it’s all for this season of Iron Fist. Maybe next season is going to be better because there is more time for the actors to practice martial arts so it translates naturally on the show, and more time to think about a better story and make better decisions for the characters.
Overall, this was an entertaining show. Though it didn’t lead into the Defenders, and the contained story wasn’t great. I enjoyed what I enjoyed and I don’t think it’s as crappy as most people think it is.