Arts, Television, Review

Marvel’s ‘Iron Fist’ Fails to Pack a Punch

Iron Fist is one of the five Marvel television shows currently streaming on Netflix, and is one of the four that comprises The Defenders. The other three shows are Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones, all of which are significantly more entertaining than Iron Fist.

When this show premiered in March of 2017 as the fourth and final individual hero story before the crossover series known as The Defenders, it was highly anticipated due to the impressive work done with its three counterparts beforehand. Unfortunately, Iron Fist was nothing like those other shows, and was met with instant critical disdain. Luckily for the producers and actors who were hoping to keep their jobs, the show was renewed for a second season because of the success of the other shows in the same universe, so they got a chance to make the show better.

They did not take advantage of that chance.

The same problems that plagued the first season of Iron Fist started right where they left off, with the horribly unlikeable characters, terrible dialogue and uninspired action scenes returning in full force. This time though, some new problems have arisen that are so obnoxious that the show has become almost infuriating to watch.

In this season, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) has taken up the torch of Matthew Murdock (Daredevil), who presumably died in the finale of The Defenders, and has made it his personal mission to protect New York from whatever threats it may face. Meanwhile, his friends plot against him in secret because they hate him for things that he unknowingly did to them.

This could have been a pretty interesting concept to explore if the show decided to study Rand’s mental state instead of simply chalking his decision-making up to “being heroic,” but instead the show refuses to let its main character have any moral flaws. Rand’s friends seem delusional in their hatred of him because everything he does is vehemently defended as morally virtuous. Every interaction that Rand has with those friends of his consists of him being incredibly polite and heartfelt, and ends with his enemies saying things like “God I’m so sick of how smug he is,” even though the entire conversation was nothing less than perfectly amicable. It makes no sense at all.

Furthermore, the script seems to just forget entire events immediately after they happen. For example, and without spoiling anything, in the second episode of the season, a pretty significant plot point occurs, and it takes up a very large portion of the episode. Characters within the show repeatedly state that this event will have an immediate impact on the story, specifically stating that the outcome will start to have an effect within the same day in the show’s universe.

Then, the entire third episode goes by without even one mention of the event at all. Every single character that was involved with it plays a central role in the plot of the episode, but none of them reference the previous episode’s event at all. It’s confusing and off-putting, and things like this make it hard to be immersed in the show’s universe.

Then there are the fight scenes. The choreography in this show is uninspired. There’s never any tension because the main characters never have any sort of damage inflicted against them. Rand and his girlfriend Colleen (Jessica Henwick) are essentially immortal because they’re always in control of whatever fight with which they’re involved. Only once within the first three episodes of the season was either of the two main characters even moderately injured in battle, and that injury was a minor cut on the shoulder.

That fight, which was the first scene of the entire season, consists of Rand fighting a bunch of gang members in the street. At one point in the fight, three enemies surround him and appear to start attacking him at the same time, but no more than one person fights him at a time. The choreography is laughable, as Rand just fights them in waves with no tension whatsoever. One guy comes in, Rand punches him, then another comes in, and Rand punches him, rinse, repeat. It’s lazy choreography that lowers the production value of the show significantly.

Iron Fist is a massive stain on the Marvel Television Universe, and it’s a shame that the quality of the filmmaking is so much worse than its three companions in The Defenders. In fact, The Defenders is a much better show if the viewer goes into it without having watched the first season of Iron Fist beforehand. Rand is actually quite likeable in the crossover series, and going into the show without knowing his character actually makes it easier to like him.

Simply put, this show is not worth the time to watch. The characters are one-dimensional, the writing is terrible, and the action’s choreography is lazy. There is simply no reason to view this show when there are so many superior shows to watch instead. Skip this and binge-watch Daredevil or something.

Featured Image by Marvel

September 9, 2018