–Iron Fist felt like a modern-day remake of those 60’s and 70’s kung fu movies, with lots of posturing and posing, with lots of fights in darkened alleys, hallways and rooms.
– – –
“When Danny Rand was 10-years old, he survived a mysterious plane crash that claimed the lives of his extremely wealthy parents. Rescued by warrior monks, Danny grew up in the of city of K’un-Lun, where he endured harsh conditions, but also trained to be a fierce warrior. Years later, Danny returns home to New York, where he wants to reconnect with his past and take his rightful place at his family’s company, which is being run by his father’s former business partner. Danny hopes to restore his family legacy by defeating the people who threaten it.”
Iron Fist started off pretty quickly demonstrating Danny Rand’s skills. Seemed like an odd beginning. And they continue to demonstrate what he is capable of, much like when a bad TV series puts all their cards on the table in the first episode. With a lot of arm swirling and such.
As the show progressed we get repeated demonstrations of his talent while he tries to reconnect with the company that his father started. And throughout the first set of episodes, they milk the crap out of the aircraft accident that took his parents lives with recap after recap. The second half of the series continued to focus on his guilt for various reasons.
During the development of the story, it’s hard to figure out who the bad guys really are. It’s like a soap opera where some of the cast take turns being bad or good.
The other curious thing was that despite his supposed abilities, he had these anger or insecurity issues that kept interfering with his true talents. What the heck was all that training of 15 years for if he can’t control his anger?
– – –
Iron Fist isn’t a horrible story but while we watch him struggle to find his foothold in his old life, we don’t care. We aren’t drawn into his plight. We don’t have to be. We’re shown over and over again what to care about instead of being drawn into investing our emotional viewing.
We’re continually told what his power should be. When we watched Daredevil, they didn’t dwell on his radar sense, they demonstrated it once, and moved on. In Jessica Jones, we still aren’t sure what she’s capable of. But no Iron Fist. In this series, we have a hero so flawed that he isn’t even sure or know what he can do.
The martial arts action is perfected to a kind of symmetry, but not the kind of symmetry that conveys the action most Marvel fans have possibly come to expect from the other series. But it is technically accurate action.
It was odd to watch this Marvel series. It did not suck, but at times it was full of tropes.
– – –
In a movie, the director is the front-man, the creative force behind the project. But with television products, it’s a combination of writers and producers that guide a series in the direction it takes.
In this case, Scott Buck wrote and executive produced Iron Fist. His resume includes Dexter, Six Feet Under and a few others. Other exec producers included Allie Goss , Jeph Loeb, Keira Morrisette (who all had a hand in the other Marvel Netflix projects) and Evan Perazzo, whose resume includes Daredevil, Graceland, White Collar, Harper’s Island and Jericho!.
So where the hell did the disconnect come from? Why did this series feel so flat and different? I’m not sure. It’s possible the source material was tough to decode into a Netflix series.
Finn Jones plays Danny Rand/Iron Fist, to an OK degree. I’m not sure what to expect from his character, but he left me feeling like, um, well, are you or are you NOT Iron Fist? The same question he asks himself throughout the entire series.
Jessica Henwick plays Colleen Wing, and does not distract from the story.
Jessica Stroup plays Joy Meachum, looks nice, but wasn’t a stand out for me.
Tom Pelphrey pissed me off then had me wondering WTF, as he played Ward Meachum. And that’s a good thing. I liked his portrayal.
David Wenham played Harold Meachum, and WTF? Was he channeling his inner Willem Dafoe? He was more annoying than anything else.
Wai Ching Ho plays Gao. Gads, was she successfully annoying.
Of course Rodario Dawson brought it as she always does, playing Claire Temple. She made out, considering she’s been in all the Netflix Marvel series shows.
As if the show was atypical enough, instead of ending on a particular note, they had to end it with a cliff-hanger that should have been saved for the opening of the second season, not a teaser for another boring season.
Over on IMDb, almost 30k users rated the series at 7.6/10, so the liked it a bunch more than I did. Rotten Tomatoes had a 17% rating, the show receiving a 4.2/10 from 52 reviews while that audience gave it an 81%.
Me, I’d give it a popcorn 6/10. It wasn’t as compelling as I wanted it to be but it didn’t suck. Though to be honest, I get that these Marvel Netflix projects take place in the dark realms of the city, but for crying out loud, GET MORE LIGHTS on the scenes!!! It feels like a Zack Snyder WB production!!!
– – –
Oh, and about all those grumblings about whitewashing the character, take a peak gang, the original comic character was white. How do you whitewash a white character? Just saying!