“A child. Touched by fire.”
Marvel studios has just released another entry into their Netflix franchises, and while shining in some places, it seems dull in others.
The series stars Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphrey, David Wenham, and Rosario Dawson across a number of roles, a class of little known actors and actresses.
To start with the positives, there are quite a few impressive looking fight sequences. That is really it.
Now to the errors made in the series, of which there are many, some of which cannot be covered. For starters, with the main character Danny Rand, it is difficult to get a feel of his character, he is a character whose emotions only go with the plot. He is angry when he should be and at other points he is either happy and cheerful or just kind of dull. This does not make for a compelling star of the series.
As for the side characters, specifically Coleen Wing who has mysteries regarding her character hinted towards, but are never addressed and are never implied to be answered at later points. As for the others; Joy has something close to the arc but her performance never makes her moments emotional and it becomes very uninteresting very quickly. Ward is very unemotional as well, which is supposed to be an important facet to the character; but its paired with a character arc but it never feels completed especially in the end of the season.
I try to hold my opinions of acting until the end of the season, but throughout all the episodes, I often felt like the actors were often just saying what was on the page and trying to convey the emotions stated in the script, these made the moments that were supposed to be emotional but just fall flat, and made me keep checking to see how much time was left in the episode.
Also, the final villain of the season only becomes a villain in the final episode; but if you are in anyway well versed in television or literature then you saw this and a following “twist” coming from a mile away. Plus, throughout the season they sort of tease them as a villain, but then they digress from it and remain bad people still, but become allies to the hero, and then because they need another villain for the final episode they are just a pure villain with clichéd motivations. It’s very confusing and convoluted in the worst ways.
One last thing I need to say is that the actual Iron Fist is not used nearly enough throughout the season. I know this is not the worst thing in the world, but since this is part of a franchise I need to compare it to the others around. In “Daredevil”, “Luke Cage”, and “Jessica Jones”, they are promoted to have their own special abilities and their series utilize those abilities in creative ways and “Iron Fist” rarely utilizes them to make new and creative sequences. It feels like a completely wasted opportunity. The main character of the ‘hero’ story, never does any real hero work except when it comes for personal gain.
While some of the fights were well choreographed, there are just a few too many issues and this makes watching all 13 hours of the season feel more like a chore rather than a pleasant experience.