I finally finished slogging through Netflix’s Iron Fist. I really enjoyed watching Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, and I was interested to see how this one would turn out. It’s… definitely at the bottom of the list when it comes to MCU entries.
The show gained a considerable amount of controversy for its approach to race, which I’m not really going to get into, other than to say that it felt kind of oblivious when it came to that particular topic. My colleague, Kwame Opam, wrote about it better than I could over on The Verge, and I generally agree with his review. As I noted in my thoughts on Ghost in the Shell, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out a bit more broadly.
One thing that stuck out for me with Iron Fist was just how boring it is. Daredevil did some really spectacular fight scenes, but this should have put that to shame: it’s a show about martial arts! The action was just… lackluster. A good example is this scene, where there’s 56 cuts in 35 seconds, which made the whole thing jittery.
Above all, however, the story was a bit of a mess. It meanders, characters do a ton of really dumb and contradictory things, and Danny Rand’s whole character journey just… doesn’t seem to exist.
It feels as though Marvel didn’t really think the story through, and really break the season into a coherent arc. What would have felt better to me is if Rand was still in training to become the Iron Fist, rather than coming back and seemingly went back to square one, which seems to negate everything he had been before. It feels as though it’s an origin story set after the origin story, if that makes sense.
Hopefully, Defenders will be better when it hits later this summer.