This latest Marvel Netflix show before the culmination of these Marvel shows with The Defenders was definitely built on a significant amount of fan hype and justice for the comic book character. Unfortunately, the martial arts superhero show barely had any power in its punch coming off with some decent action sequences and a good supporting character but overall leaving a very lackluster, dull, and structure-less taste.
This Netflix series centers on the return of Danny Rand to New York City after being missing for 15 years; he has transitioned from a billionaire’s son into a Buddhist monk who tries to reconnect with his family and his company, Rand Enterprises. However, once he discovers a dark force damaging everything that surrounds him, he must use his mastery in martial arts and the power of the Iron Fist to stop them. This series could have possibly gone a unique route that differentiated itself from the other Marvel Netflix shows and Batman-like superhero stories where a white billionaire becomes the superhero, however, it follows almost the same path as those other.
Game of Thrones star, Finn Jones’ portrayal of Danny is somewhat decent but irritating. Even though Jones is able to show Danny’s selflessness and determination in each episode, his characteristics are uneven. He becomes very aggressive, stubborn, and single-minded and these characteristics do not seem to meld well with his more positive characteristics leaving his character development half-fleshed out. Other characters such as Joy and Ward Meachum, siblings and heads of Rand Enterprises, played by Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey are not fully developed with Pelphrey’s Ward being trapped in a repetitive family conflict and having dull characterization. Stroup’s Joy has some development but yet again development it is not fully cooked. The siblings’ mysteriously malevolent father, Harold Meachum played by David Wenham barely seemed to have direction and even though Wenham showed some good aspects of a damaged father his instability left the character without any true development or significance.
The one good supporting character of the series was struggling sensei, sword-wielding heroine, and love interest, Colleen Wing played by another Game of Thrones star, Jessica Henwick. Henwick’s portrayal had some decent development and her caring, determined, and damaged personality could be seen. Henwick was also able to have good action sequences that highlight the effort she put into the character. The problem is that viewers might want to see more of Colleen and less of Danny, which leaves an imbalance in the story.
In terms of story, there seemed to be structure with the early episodes, which encompassed the first half of the season, feeling dull and tedious to watch. There was not a clear villain or a clear central focus to the story and it would have random spurts of action. The last half of the season also felt dull and was left with no significant climax to the story. Dialogue was also very weak and seemed underdeveloped.
The show’s action sequences appeared very rehearsed and it was clear that Jones had memorized certain fight patterns, which did not give off the impression of a fully realized martial arts master. This left the show’s quality in action sequences seem unrealistic and not equivalent to the quality of other Marvel Netflix shows.
The weak quality in character development, story structure, dialogue, and action made me feel disappointed that the show could not reach its full potential, which leaves it with a C-.
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Iron Fist Review: Barely Had Any Power in Its Punch. Image courtesy of Netflix.