Marvel’s Iron Fist Review
What can I say? I’m glad that the internet lied to me. Going into the release of Marvel’s Iron Fist there was just too much meaningless drama over something that shouldn’t affect a well-established hero. This seemed to set Iron Fist up for failure in comparison to the rest of the Marvel Netflix series. Especially when it came to the initial critiques of the show which you had to take with a grain of salt for it. Again, I’m glad that the internet lied to me. I like fun and Marvel’s Iron Fist was fun.
From the start I liked that just like the rest of the Marvel Netflix series, Iron Fist stayed true to telling its own story. This doesn’t mean a story that ignores the source material, because they stayed as close as possible for the MCU. What is meant by this is that for every passing first season there is the same critique that they start slow. That’s not a critique, that’s impatience. These stories like most take time to develop. Iron Fist takes its time to develop and really set off, completely avoiding the idea that this centering around a martial artist could mean stuffed action. We got plenty of action as it was necessary. They even made sure certain characters played a role where it could be addressed how such violent actions or the consistency of it was not needed. One of the bigger questions surrounding Iron Fist was what kind of problems it will tackle like the others. They weren’t all on the surface, but it was great to be able to explore corporate corruption, PTSD, what addictions actually look like, and what it is like to struggle breaking away from the things you are taught growing up.
The characters in a lot of ways were well cast. Finn Jones was not a mistake because he was white. There was no missed opportunity and this wouldn’t have been the same show if diversity was allowed to influence this the way fans tried to force. Finn Jones brings to the table something that the other Marvel Netflix heroes were lacking. He gives Iron Fist charm. Each of the other heroes up to the end were hard to see as the kind of people you would enjoy running into as a friend. From his introduction it was easy to warm up to Danny Rand because it took time for the damage to show. This was all a part of his development over time and eventually having to deal with the event which killed his parents, but regardless there was more capacity for him to be someone who broke the mold of your usual asshole to some extent. Colleen Wing and Claire were perfect as supporting cast next to Danny Rand. In comparison to the other heroes, Danny thrived more from stronger interactions and assistance from allies. From what I know about Colleen Wing I was able to roll with the way they bring her into the MCU. Ultimately the other side of the coin so to speak for Danny and interestingly enough understanding Danny also meant understanding Colleen, and vice versa. There was no sideline for characters like her and I appreciate that in the face of heroes who have too much bravado.
Which brings me to my favorite character, Claire or Night Nurse. She has grown so much overtime since the simple nurse who was thrust into a world that was hard to adjust to given her profession. After dealing with so many like Danny beforehand, she has molded herself into this character who has been there and seen it all. Sometimes you really need that person who can just cut into a conversation and tell you “This is stupid”. That is Claire as not only the foundation for characters like Danny and Colleen, but the moral compass to say the things that need to be bluntly said. There aren’t enough characters like Claire who people will take advantage of to cut the crap. Aside from this she was just as enjoyable to watch in action and served as a solid connection to the rest of the heroes who they will eventually cross paths with again.
I would say the Meachum family took me by surprise. I’m not big into the character history of Iron Fist. I sort of kept it that way up till the release so that I could be surprised by the shape their characters took in the story. For the exploration into corporate corruption I enjoyed the way these two walked that line. Questioning how far you would go to preserve your company, the way the age of social media affects your image, and the power struggles which can get pretty nasty.
It was hard to put your finger on who exactly you would call the main villain, though I believe that is a great feeling to have about this. There is always too much emphasis on the villain standing out more than they should. Iron Fist was refreshing for the fact that despite knowing who some of the villains would be beforehand, nothing was certain until those key moments of revelation. Whether this was Madame Gao, Harold, The Hand as a whole or a few other notable characters they all stood out in some way that shook things up in a big way. Madame Gao was fun as I expected her to be. She is someone who wears her experience on her sleeve as confident as you can be in situations where the odds weren’t in her favor. Harold was a slow-burn and one that engaged us more than the others because of the personal drive of his which blurred that line between right and wrong. He was clearly a bad person, but they made every minute count where you could forget that in the face of what personal agendas lined up with others.
Now the action I found satisfying. Nothing too flashy and shockingly not as destructive as some of the others who held less restraint with their strength. Iron Fist made every use of his powers count and that may be what made each of those scenes matter most. Of course not every action sequence was flawless, but in every way it is what you would expect from one centered around martial arts. The different fighting styles, the varying weapons used throughout, all of it was a treat when nothing was straightforward kicking and punching. Again like I mentioned above, it was nice to also have character(s) who could stop and question if action was always the right response. The recklessness is consistent with majority of the Marvel Netflix shows and at least one of them had to be firm about thinking of better ways to handle situations.
I would only say that Iron Fist suffered from a need to spend too much time flashing back to Danny’s incident which at times was hard to believe would affect him during such times. These things do have a lingering affect, though the timing wasn’t always right. Regardless they still explored this very well to the point where you can overlook this obstacle.
Marvel’s Iron Fist overall was entertaining for what it is as the one story to be a little more out there in comparison to the others. I firmly believe people let themselves down with all the stuff they filled their head with going into this, and surely if that wasn’t you then you might have enjoyed this a lot more from it. These stories take time to tell, these stories won’t always be wall-to-wall action, and hopefully they can continue the story of some of these organic characters who deserve a season 2.