Rating : 2.5 / 5 stars
What’s it about?
Marvel’s Iron Fist, is the origins story of the mystical Iron Fist, the final Defender, following the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Presumed dead in a plane crash over the Himalayas for fifteen years, billionaire Danny Rand returns to New York and tries to get back to his old life by trying to reconnect with his childhood friends who are now running his company. As he tries to navigate the complications that arise because of his sudden return, he begins to realize that there is more going on in New York than meets the eye. He realizes that The Hand, a secret crime syndicate, who are the sworn enemy of the monks who saved him as a kid, are spreading their tentacles across the city trying to get control of it. How he manages to navigate through all the challenges thrown at him, while teaming up with Colleen Wing, a karate instructor in New York, is what makes for the rest of the series.
The good thing about the show is that the story arcs last the whole show unlike the underwhelming Luke Cage. It also has a better structure to it than Luke Cage.
The story starts slow but ends on a strong note. The story arc of Danny Rand genuinely invokes interest as this one has more fantastical elements that other Marvel shows. The supporting characters are good and are assets to the show. Colleen Wing is a great character with a strong personality and good back story. Her scenes are the some of the best parts of the series. Claire Temple, who has featured in the other Marvel shows has a bigger role in this one and adds to the progression of the plot. Also, the villains add personality to the show and are not there just for the heck of it. Harold Meachum and the secretive Organisation The Hand are fleshed out properly to get the viewer invested in the story.
The main problem is that, barring a couple of sequences, the action in the show is a huge let down. After watching amazing action in shows like Daredevil and even Jessica Jones, this feels amateurish. They lack the kind of choreography needed to show of the skills of a superhero who is supposed to be one of the best hand to hand martial artists alive in the Marvel universe.
Many of the conflicts that arise early on in the show seem poorly written and feel like they exist just because the writer wanted it that way and does not feel organic. Also, It also does not have that one awesome episode that all the previous Marvel shows had, be it an origins story of the hero’s life before he came to New York, or an all out action sequence. Speaking of origin stories, we do not get to see how the hero got his powers, or what kind of life he led before coming to New York. All we get is a few flashbacks that show him meditating and contemplating to leave the mystical city of K’un Lun, and exposition heavy dialogue referring to his training.
Editing, especially in the action sequences, is mediocre. The series does not have the make of earlier Marvel Shows and this comes across more as an imitation rather than something original. The show also doesn’t warrant 13 episodes and would have been much more involving and entertaining had it been just 8 or 10 episodes.
Finn Jones as Iron Fist is decent in the dramatic portions, but is lackluster in the action sequences. He just does not have the physicality of an action hero much less an invincible martial artist with superpowers. He just looks like a rich kid mimicking the motions of a real fighter. Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple gets more to do in this series and is good in her role. Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing is excellent both in the acting and action department. She does great job in bringing out the internal moral conflict of the character while still giving Colleen dignity and personality She is the show stealer and one wishes to see more of her in the upcoming seasons. Tom Pelphrey is also excellent as Ward Meachum. He captures the vulnerability, helplessness and despicability of his character very well. Rest of the actors are good in their respective roles.
A middling effort as an introduction to the final defender, this series is strictly a one time watch.