I've never been one to disregard a movie or TV show solely based on a review. Iron Fist didn't exactly spark confidence with its early reviews, but Marvel on Netflix doesn't tend to let me down too much and I would like to stay up to date on all the Marvel shows since they have some crossover elements to them. Initially Iron Fist began with the promise of any of the Marvel shows do, but by seasons end I realized it was lacking in a few major areas.

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The number one thing wrong in Iron Fist? A good villain. There isn't one. Nothing even close to a Kingpin, or Cottonmouth, or Kilgrave ever emerges in this series. I think the primary reason Iron Fist can't establish a solid villain is because it introduces too many people as villains and none of them ever feels all that intimidating. It really is a letdown after the amazing villains we have seen in the other shows. How is Iron Fist supposed to establish himself as a badass if all the people he keeps thwarting are dull and boring? Especially Madam Gao who has been around since Daredevil kicked everything off and somehow she was more terrifying in Daredevil with a bit part than she ever was in Iron Fist. Then, through a terrible transition, a different character takes the helm as the number one badass, and then it happens AGAIN at the end and every single time it just feels...meh. Now all of this could have been somewhat overlooked if the rest of the show delivered a solid performance, but it doesn't.

You know what was really lacking for each villain? A solid backstory. Kingpin had numerous flashbacks about an abusive home situation. Kilgrave was experimented on, and by his own parents no less. Cottonmouth’s mother was freaking crazy and she passed on that crazy to her kids. Solid backstory doesn’t just fall flat for the villains of Iron Fist either. We never get to see Danny’s life in Kunlun and we only ever saw his childhood referenced to show what a jerk Ward was to him back in the day. How in the world am I supposed to make a connection to a bunch of characters that never reveal anything beyond their immediate lives?

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Bo..........ring..........

Now this next gripe comes from someone who is completely ignorant when it comes to the Iron Fist comic, but Danny Rand is an idiot. I understand he didn't grow up in the kind of society that he was born in, but to come back to New York and go about things the way he did is just absolutely aggravating. I have to believe that the monks he grew up with aren't ignorant to lies and deceit. I mean they have been enemies of the Hand since forever, but I guess Danny is just naturally a trusting person. Now it could be understandable for the first few times people back stabbed him, but after the hundredth time? I mean, no spoilers here, but the dude should have started developing trust issues after like 3 episodes, but by the end of the season he seems just as trusting as he did when he first got to New York. I guess some things you just can't fix.

There is one thing that I feel was at least done well enough to stand up to the other Marvel shows and that was the fight scenes. Some of them were actually pretty good. I especially enjoyed when he fought a drunken fist master. That was great. There was also a scene against a bunch of Triads that I really enjoyed. Danny was really unimpressive as an Iron Fist, but just as a regular kung fu master he was entertaining enough. He did tend to get beat up A LOT, but they at least cover that in the story in a way that may seem cheesy but it worked for me.

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Even after all of these poor choices for the show, and even after all the crap that I am throwing in its face, I still have hope that it can redeem itself. I want season two, whenever the hell that may or may not happen, to be amazing and I want to care about this part of the Netflix Marvel universe. I want The Defenders to tread new, unfamiliar, and exciting ground. You can’t do much more than hope in this situation, but it’s better than just expecting disappointment in the future. And if all else fails, at least we are getting season two of Stranger Things!

 

What did you think of Iron Fist? Was it what you were hoping for? Or did you feel a bit let down like me?