Review: Marvel’s Iron Fist

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Marvel Iron Fist is finally out on Netflix for your binge watching pleasure. I didn’t have much to do over the weekend so I was able to finish all thirteen episodes. I like to keep an open mind when watching a TV show or movie despite reading reviews from critics and fans. Therefore, I didn’t go in with the mindset of being dissatisfied with Finn Jones because of his lackluster performance on Game of Thrones or being disappointed with Marvel not casting an Asian-American. I gave the show a chance because of Marvel’s track record has been pretty stellar in catering to general audiences with The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy as well as mature ones with Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

First and foremost, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple has been the real cohesiveness to bringing all of the shows together as she has starred in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Netflix series and she has been my favorite and consistent character thus far. Her willingness to help others has always gotten her in a pickle with having to help people with issues which turn out to be superheroes in the end. Dawson’s presence in Iron Fist brings her experience to the fight against the Hand and some wisdom to the Kung Fu warrior but young and naïve, Danny Rand destined to be the Iron fist who is played by Finn Jones. The screenplay could have been handled a lot better. Many of the things from the comics did not translate well in verbatim for live action TV in the present time. The story needed the slow pull in the beginning to introduce the characters and story but it never got better. There were a couple “ah ha” moments when you learned more about the Hand from Madame Gau and Bakuto. But each episode kind of left me in a medium to low state as I just thought how they tried gunning for the Hand and Madame Gau was not very convincing. In addition, although you see a different faction of the Hand you don’t see their full strength like you do in Daredevil. I don’t know if it is due to budgetary constraints but I could definitely feel it being of less quality. As for casting, Finn Jones had some highlighted moments with his action scenes and his coping with post traumatic stress. But much of the dialogue was very cheesy and many moments were just not believable. Each time Jones would come out saying that, “I’m the Iron Fist” I just couldn’t help but to laugh. It does not translate well from the comic pages. I definitely agree with the critics stating he was miscast. Yeah, I would’ve liked it more if they found a talented Asian-American actor but even not, they could’ve found someone better. If they relied on Jones to handle the series on his own it would perform a lot worse. But because they had a solid supporting cast with Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Henwick, Jessica Stroup and David Wenham the show held up. To tell you the truth, I would’ve enjoyed seeing Tom Pelphrey try to pull off being the Iron Fist rather than Finn Jones. I think Pelphrey is a talented actor and his character development on screen is believable. Stroup was a grounded and likeable character by being business woman trying to run a company while coping with her undying past if you will. They didn’t linger much on her character outside of the interaction with her family and Danny which was good because it probably would’ve have not added much to the story. Veteran actor, Wenham delivers nothing short of amazing. You name it, movies like 300 and Lord of the Rings he has a solid supporting actor record. I think this time he just goes all out with evilness and it’s scary to watch him because of his temper-tantric violent actions. Now, for Jessica Henwick she has her high notes in the beginning with some cool fight scenes. But once they get into her being the romantic love interest, her character becomes quite dull. I feel they could’ve polished her development better in the end especially since she was involved in a big twist in the series and I liked her character a lot in the beginning.

Lastly, the finale was very disappointing. Scott Buck is notoriously known for writing Dexter and many fans were disappointed with its ending and I can say that I was disappointed with the Iron Fist ending too. The fight choreography wasn’t on the “oh shit” tip like in Daredevil but there were a couple fight scenes that were cool like the cage fights, hallway fight and rumble brawl but it definitely was a predictable ending. They could’ve also casted someone better for Davos as he was just an annoying character and especially since he’s destined to be Danny’s arch nemesis, Steel Serpent he didn’t feel like a threat. In summary, I enjoyed quite a few episodes like 4 and 5 but Iron Fist felt like the weakest link of the MCU/Netflix series and I’m weary on the chemistry with the rest of the Defenders. But if they’re going for the young naïve kid that knows martial arts then I guess they casted right. But the character was never really popular outside of cult readers and many of the stories were not that interesting unless they were with Power Man a.k.a. Luke Cage. I think Marvel could’ve done a better job in telling a more compelling story and updated the lore of the Iron Fist much better for contemporary audiences.

 

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