‘Iron Fist’ show review
By Greg Waldock, Staff Writer
Netflix’s Iron Fist might be the most contentious Marvel show yet. Mired in controversy surrounding race politics, poor casting, and extremely negative early reviews, the much-maligned series was finally released to the general public on March 17.
Danny Rand is the only child of the billionaire CEO of Rand Enterprises. He and his family crash land and presumably die in the Himalayas, but Danny is rescued by monks of K’un-Lun, a mystical interdimensional monastery that only appears on Earth every 15 years. He is trained to become the legendary living weapon, the titular Iron Fist. The show kicks off with Danny reappearing 15 years after his crash in New York, seeking his company and his friends.
The series is, undeniably, the worst Netflix-produced Marvel show to date. Following in the astounding footsteps of shows as complex as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, Iron Fist was an opportunity to introduce magic and the mystic arts to the “street-level heroes” that will eventually become The Defenders. It flubbed, and it flubbed hard. But damned if there isn’t something so incredibly fascinating about the unorthodox character archetypes in this show.
In fact, “unorthodox” is pretty much the best word for this show. A character based entirely around stylish kung-fu has the worst fight choreography of all The Defenders. Cliché and poorly-acted villains become fascinating and poorly-acted villains. The music score features a heavy synth bass that has nothing to do with China, New York, or the lead character. It’s just an odd show fill with odd choices. If it were a better show, I’d be calling it “daring and risk-taking” instead of “terrible and weird.”
More and more articles and interviews are revealing an incredibly rushed production and some messiness behind-the-scenes. Poor Finn Jones, who plays Danny Rand, could have been a really interesting and creative casting choice, but he allegedly had only a handful of minutes to memorize fight scenes. The writing is so sloppy it could only be the result of scripts being hastily rewritten while shooting. Whatever recipe for success Netflix and Marvel had for the previous three shows, it just doesn’t exist here.
If the series weren’t so integral to the incoming The Defenders miniseries, I would recommend skipping it entirely. Only a die-hard MCU fan could get much enjoyment out of it—more casual fans should alternate between Iron Fist and a Daredevil palate-cleanser. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come for The Defenders and Punisher.