Oh how I’ve dreaded doing this.
Marvel’s Iron Fist was the one show I’ve been anxious to see since Luke Cage graced my laptop screen. While I was not such a huge fan of LC, I found it watchable and well-made. I’d place it third on my Marvel-Netflix shows list, first being Jessica Jones and second Daredevil.
Fourth place is now taken by Iron Fist.
I had been very much taken aback by the tirade of negative reviews and publicity surrounding Iron Fist. Barely 20% of the critics on Rotten Tomatoes seem to like it? Normally I agree with the review aggregator. Having viewed the series in its entirety, here’s what I think…
It’s not that bad.
But I’m not sure what it is.
Mind you Iron Fist does have its moments with some pretty impressive performances. The storyline of the Meachums stand out as my personal favorite. The complicated relationship of the “deceased” oligarch with his children translates for a delicious drama and, in parts, horror on-screen. The performances of Tom Pelphrey and David Wenham are top-notch. Tom, with his attire mimicking Joseph Gordon-Levitt from Inception, plays Ward perfectly. His character development is fun to watch. From being absolutely hateful to being absolutely loved, Tom plays Ward with finesse. Wenham, playing Harold, is another ace. Scary, scheming, ruthless and devoid of humanity, Harold is filled with surprises.
Everyone else is textbook.
Finn Jones is unable to do his character justice. The writing fails to give the lead anything new to work with. What transpires on-screen is something you’ve seen before. Uninspiring. Lacking. Unoriginal. The action sequences could and should have been exceptional. They aren’t. There is nothing you haven’t seen do Daredevil before. Except for the kung-fu poses. Those are new. See Jackie Chan’s movies if you want better – at least they are intentionally funny there.
The only reason I kept watching the series in its entirety – The Hand. Marvel and Netflix have kept an eerie atmosphere around this organisation and it inspires curiosity. What exactly is it? Who are they? How do they function? What is their end game? Sadly, you don’t get much answers here. And the ones you do get, are very dissatisfactory. Daredevil Season 2 did a much better job exploring them and even that had its own set of problems.
To sum it all up – the show is not that atrocious. Its filled with compelling narratives but falters badly in parts. The pacing is choppy, the dialogues are terrible (primarily Jones’) and the action sequences are nothing to write about. It’s not up to the Marvel-Netflix standards. Overall it makes for a tolerable watch.
Special mentions to Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) and Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Ann Moss) who are up to their usual standout performances. Their quirky dialogues and references to the other Marvel-Netflix properties make it worth your while.
Rating : 2.5/5