‘Iron Fist’ Proves Marvel & Netflix Partnership Isn’t Bulletproof

Iron Fist

The following review of Iron Fist contains minor spoilers. 

In Marvel’s Ant-Man, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is presented with an extremely difficult situation and his first response is, “I think we should call the Avengers.”  When it comes to Iron Fist, everyone should have called Matt Murdock/Daredevil to help salvage this series.

This is the next series Marvel has released with Netflix. Iron Fist stars Finn Jones (Game of Thrones), Jessica Henwick (Game of Thrones), Jessica Stroup (The Following, 90210), Tom Pelphrey (Banshee Origins), and David Wenham (Lord of the Rings). Iron Fist is the final step towards The Defenders, which will feature all of our street-level Netflix superheroes teaming up including; Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron First. These previous series create the biggest problem for Iron Fist beacuse while flawed at times those previous series captivated audiences. 

Iron Fist simply falls short of its predecessors. The problems range from poor acting, lacking character development to fight sequences that feel sluggish. While Iron Fist is enjoyable at times, it feels rushed and not up to the level of previous Marvel & Netflix projects. 

Finn Jones (Game of Thrones) plays Danny Rand, a young man orphaned after a mysterious plane crash. He returns to New York City after being away for 15 years. It’s discovered that Rand spent those years in K’un-Lun, a location which exists in entirely within another mystical realm. Rand returns to find that no one at his family’s company believes he is who he claims to be and the story begins to unfold. Jones starts to embrace the character about mid-way through the series, after portraying Rand as a weak, emotional individual.

The problem is that it takes multiple episodes before the “Iron Fist” to even be utilized. The early episodes of Iron Fist feel more like a story about corporate sabotage, instead of a superhero origin show. The first six episodes are dialogue heavy, yet the main characters don’t feel developed. These first six episodes desperately needed to leave corporate board room and head down to the street of New York.

Audiences had been introduced into Marvel’s more mystical side through Doctor Strange, which should have been a massive opportunity for those working on Iron Fist. K’un-Lun is hardly explored during this series. When actually telling the story of Danny Rand/Iron Fist, the more mystical side could have been explored, which would have really grounded Rand’s character.

Marvel & Netflix’s Daredevil had some of the most stunning and groundbreaking fight choreography scenes on a program created for television. Who can forget that hallway scene? Well, Iron Fest attempts to have their own “hallway scene” and the comparison is horrendous.  This show could have featured some of the best kung-fu sequences in recent memory.

Iron Fist isn’t all bad, the backend episodes of Iron Fist improve, mostly because of the introduction of “The Hand,” Madame Gao, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) and Davos (Sacha Dhawan). When the story moves away from Danny Rand and focuses on the larger issues at hand, it strives.

Colleen Wing/Jessica Henwick (Game of Thrones) is the standout of Iron Fist and should be utilized more within the Marvel/Netflix Universe moving forward. Wing brings a level of complexity to her character and has fight sequences that outshine Finn Jones every time. While watching Iron Fist, a thought started to emerge, what if Wing had been the Iron Fist?

In the end, Marvel and Netflix had set the bar extremely high when it comes to these series and Iron Fist proves that this partnership isn’t bulletproof. While this series was a disappointment, The Defenders is still set up to be on the one of the best series that Netflix has created.

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