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Marvel's Iron Fist Review: A Missed Opportunity

Published: March 20, 2017

Marvel's Iron Fist released on Netflix this past weekend. Plagued with lackluster reviews from the first 6 episodes, it did not impress many, however, it made me, as a comic book fan to want the critics to be wrong.

Iron Fist is the last of 4 heroes to be introduced in Netflix's Marvel Universe. This sets up "The Defenders" scheduled for a Fall 2017 release and is currently filming. It will see Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Iron Fist team up to fight evil.

I spent the weekend watching Marvel's Iron Fist and here to give a what worked and what didn't work to the introduction of Iron Fist to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, this review will contain spoilers

What Worked

Not a lot worked for the Iron Fist. What I thought worked was Danny Rand, the character worked. Outside of the terrible writing(which will be discussed later on), Finn Jones displays the confusion on what someone who returns to the world after being isolated for 15 years is like. Confused and not knowing anything.

The rest of the characters were told and executed well. We all learn of everyone's back story and how it ties in to the overall development and their connections with Danny Rand. The Meachum family drama plays out nicely in the 13 episodes and in the end, we are greeted to each of their own end goals.

Paying homage and connecting the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe also worked well in the Iron Fist. The dialouge to lead up to these easter egg moments worked. Referring to all the heroes in the past such as Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. All 3 of the heroes are referrenced either by name or other not so subtle spoken dialogue or props.

Jeri Hogarth(Carrie Anne Moss) and Claire Temple(Rosario Dawson) appear to link up the stories to tell us this is all happening in the same time line. More importantly, Claire Temple's history with powered individuals and dealings with the enemy organization "The Hand" make her an integral piece of this story.

What Didn't Work

The execution of the story and origins of the Iron Fist is what really let me down. First, the pacing. It was slow, painfully slow until near the end of the series where it felt too rushed and it just simply ended. If the show's pacing was slow, then what about the action?

The fight scenes.. or rather lack of in a kung fu based hero was a dud. This is a Kung Fu hero right? Instead it felt like a modern day soap opera between an evil villian vs a big corporation. There was a stand out scene, but it didn't involve our hero Danny Rand. Instead, we are treated to his struggles to become the Iron Fist again. Which in his own right is fine as an origin story, but we never really see the character grow beyond that.

What's Next?

What's next is the Defenders. The show itself sets up the Hand nicely, as they are expected to be the organization to be featured in the upcoming cross over. The mystery surrounding on what brought back Harold Meachum from the dead could be described in more detail in the Defenders as I expect that the same technique is going to be used to bring back Elektra for The Defenders.

As for Danny Rand, K'un L'un has disappeared and his best friend Davos, who is also known as the Steel Serpant, an enemy of the Iron Fist is going to want him dead.

Overall, the show itself could have been great, unfortunately it was terribly executed. Its still quite enjoyable as it gives us more of what The Hand is.