[Film/ Television] Heavy’z Thoughts: Marvel’s The Iron Fist [Written by Brandon Williams]

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This past week, the 4th installment in the Marvel television universe premiered with season one of “The Iron Fist” becoming available to stream on Netflix. The show had a small amount of build up, being that there was a lot of time and not much mention on the show in the months between it being announced, the trailer release, and then the premiere of the actual show. I can say that it was pretty well written, the acting with some characters left a bit much to be desired, but given the direction they took with the story, the dialog and situations were well put together.  Aside from making him look like the poster child for Hipster millennials that take fighting classes, the casting of Finn Jones to play Danny Rand wasn’t a bad choice. He’s a talented actor, and given the shots used he definitely took the time to learn and really try to perfect his talents as a martial artist. My biggest issue came with the actual action within the show, given the high intensity of the fight scenes in Daredevil, Luke Cage, and even Jessica Jones, this one seemed to be lackluster in comparison to its counterparts. When watching a Daredevil fight you can see and feel the tension with the darkened locations and the way Daredevil’s skill and blindness come into play in helping him dispose of multiple foes at a time. Even in Luke Cage, he isn’t really a skilled fighter, but his power, strength, and inability to be harmed by traditional weapons allow his action scenes to really help to show these traits. In Iron Fist, however, while his skill in martial arts is shown, it felt like they watered them down for the sake of making the fights challenging. Not to give too much away, but the whole premise behind The Iron Fist is that he was trained by Monks in the ancient ways, which is what lead to him being the chosen one and with the level of training and skill that he’s acquired he should have been destroying all opposition with Batman levels of savagery. I can honestly say that many of the people he was put against were much better fighters all around than Danny was, and could honestly have been much better casting choices as the lead. I understand that this show was mostly made out of necessity than passion, as Netflix/Marvel are looking to develop their new “Defenders” series in which Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist are a crime fighting team whom each use their individual skills together for the greater good. Another vast difference between Iron Fist and the other Marvel Television universe shows is the overall tone of the show. There’s a number of up and down moments the show tends to lean on trying to make the viewer sympathize the protagonist and his struggles. Most of the other Marvel shows have a darker and serious tone with small moments of triumph and levity scattered throughout. Iron Fist didn’t exactly go the opposite way, rather it tried to go its own way and bombard us viewers with various levels of trauma and an excessive amount of plot twists that it could honestly have gone without. The last thing I took issue with was the actual ending of the series, there’s so much build-up and talk of the sacred K’un Lun where Danny hails from, and the moment we actually get the opportunity to see it it’s somehow just gone, and we’re left with a half-assed cliffhanger ending that leaves us feeling incredibly unfulfilled. All in all, the show isn’t necessarily terrible but it isn’t exactly good either. I would categorize it as “Watchable.” As a fan of the Marvel universe and the rest of the TV shows, I definitely suggest watching it so as to keep up with the lineage of the Defender’s storyline, but as far as repeat watching goes I would say nothing about it deemed it worthy to sit through again, unfortunately.