Marvel's "Iron Fist" Review

A New Marvel Superhero Story?

Marvel's Iron Fist

While Marvel's Iron Fist premiered on Netflix in March, it's never too late to enjoy the bingeable series... though it can be quite slow at times. Starting with its opening credits, the show moves at a sluggish pace compared to the other Marvel/Netflix shows: in Daredevil, you see dark, eerie drippings of blood; in Jessica Jones, you take a moody stroll down New York streets; in Luke Cage you're introduced to Harlem’s landmarks. Iron Fist’s opening sequence shows a man doing kung fu in a jungle and then doing it in a city. It's a different vibe from the other Marvel/Netflix shows, and it doesn't necessarily bode well.

The origin story of the main character, Danny Rand (Finn Jones), might sound familiar, as it's a mixture of Batman and the Green Arrow a la the CW: the son of a rich business tycoon loses his parents in a plane crash that strands him in a mystical kingdom called K’un-Lun. There, he learns the art of kung fu. Fifteen years later, he returns to New York to reclaim his identity, his family’s company, and fight the evil forces of The Hand. 

Netflix Marvel Iron Fist

Jones is great as Danny, but it definitely takes time in the first few episodes to lock him in as the ideal Danny. In the end, I was impressed. During the kung fu sequences, Jones packed a punch; there is something mystical about the way he moves. Jones is at his most likable when his more boyish qualities emerge.

While Jones is the series lead, the real standouts of Iron Fist are the woman. Jessica Henwick’s performance as Colleen Wing is a breakout one––and a physical one, given the character's foray into martial arts. But the best thing about this series is the return of Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple, who has now appeared in all of Netflix's Marvel series––and we actually get see her kick some butt. 

Marvel's Iron Fist

Iron Fist has some pitfalls, of course, mainly in the form of some unlikable characters. The more annoying characters are the brother-sister duo of Ward and Joy, played by Tom Pelphrey and Jessica Stroup, respectively. Ward is a massive tool and after 13 episodes I still can’t tell where Joy’s head is at as she keeps flip-flopping. Pelphrey and Stroup are great in their roles, as they are believably unlikable, but the characters zap some of the fun from the series. 

The main problem with Iron Fist is its pacing; it takes five or six episodes to gain momentum. Although I was hoping the events of the finale would lead up to the highly-anticipated, Avengers-style Defenders series, unfortunately the finale is self-contained. The upcoming Marvel/Netflix series The Defenders stars Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand as they team up. 

Ultimately, Iron Fist is an essential part to setting up this ever-expanding universe. The Defenders hits Netflix on August 18th––hopefully there will be more of a connection and better pacing the next time around.   

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