Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m beat!
Friday saw the release of Marvel’s Iron Fist
on Netflix and after about a week’s worth of brouhaha from critics, I caught the pilot
and decided that anyone basically with a full-on negative review of this show needed to… as one of the show’s main character implies, CALM THE F DOWN! And after watching the remaining twelve episodes, STILL, I say exactly that.
From the get-go and like most shows, it’s not perfect. However, it doesn’t mean that you’re not in some way shape or form intrigued or compelled by the story and it’s characters. Even a comic book noob like myself can grasp that concept and thankfully I notice on the interwebs that I’m not completely alone on this. I won’t go into too many specifics but as far as analysis goes, I will lend some counterpoint to the positives, and it mostly has to do with the slow build-up of the show’s overall progression between episodes.
That was my biggest pet peeve while bingeing Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and both seasons of Daredevil and because of it, the most notable thing you hear is the lack of succession in the dialogue. Certain points and assertions are rehashed and redressed, thus repeated to the point of mundanacity that you’re left stretching and cracking your neck just to do something interesting during the show now that you’ve run out of nachos and cheese and the refrigerator which is ten feet away from you is ten feet too far from your warm and cozy couch.
But enough about me…
As far as the rest of the show is concerned in all its aspects, I really loved how the show explores the various dimensions of many of the characters and relationships in large part. Danny Rand (Finn Jones), freshly back in New York City after long being presumed dead, comes home only to find that not only have his childhood friends have completely changed, but so have the circumstances under which his late father’s corporation is now being operated. As it stands, it’s a jigsaw puzzle – it’s darkness cloaked even in daylight and run by a family overrun with some serious, brutal secrecy and treachery. Actor Tom Pelphrey and actress Jessica Stroup are at the center of this family upheaval in the roles of Ward and Joy Meachum, both who run the Rand Corporation whilst each enduring their own afflictions and crises’ of conscience over Danny’s unbelievable re-emergence.
It’s one of several conflicts that occur next to that of our hero, still suffering from the trauma of surviving a plane crash and his subsequent adoption into the interdimensiomal monastery where he would learn to control his emotions, to fight and be free from material desires, and ultimately earn his title as the immortal Iron Fist of legend. He knows who he is and still, he struggles with decidinh what his purpose is with most of the people he comes across trying to seek him and use him for the weapon that he is supposedly destined to be. This becomes instrumental in establishing the fragility of his bond with Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) who runs her own Karate school, and it’s a litmus test that challenges them relentlessly in the second half of the series. Moments of respite pass from time to time and you’re left either wondering who is going to possibly die, or just screaming at your screen as if the person possibly dying can hear you…
Couch potato logic and physics RAWK.
Former nurse-turned-nurse to New York’s superheroes Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) makes her foruth return Netflix’s Marvel programming and of course, she finds herself tending to Danny’s wounds from time to time. And you know what? I don’t care how much that annoys people. Dawson’s performance is a true charmer that balances things out right nicely. Her character is that of a mettle, tested with her spirit tried and true, and ever unyielding in the face of true evil. Where there are vagueries and distractions and misunderstandings, she mediates with common sense and clarity when needed. With this, I wholeheartedly roll my eyes at the idiot who wrote in one review of this series that she was only in this show for “continuity”. GTFOH.
Actor Ramon Rodriguez was a suprise to see in this show, and a treat at that; Before this he was running his mouth a million miles an hour in a Transformers sequel back in 2009 and here, he plays one of the most confounding and pivotal characters in this show – something that serves as a major credit to the writers in establishing the uncertainties we witness that begin to effect Danny and Colleen. It keeps you truly sympathetic, intrigued and gripped nearly from start to finish. And on this end, I further extend my previous acronymized grievances to the ten-ton nuclear moron who wrote that this show needed more villains. No, it didn’t. This series has one villain – The Hand. It comes in many forms, shapes and sizes, and in numbers that fluctuate with tumultuous results as we join Danny on his rocky journey of self-discovery, one burdened by guilt, doubt and trust in the process of acclimating with the dualities everyday life brings, something which Harold Meachum (David Wenham) knows all too well how to manipulate for his own diar purposes.
The show is capped off with the usual cliffhanger treatment and on that note, I personally hope that more people will support this show. Should it get a second a second season, I would also like to think that whatever flaws people find will be fixed the next time around should that be the case, even with The Defenders not too far behind. It’s a show full of mystery, contention and family upheaval, coupled with murder, suspense and action, many of this comprised with a handful of great performances by the cast. I especially love the toxicity, drama and poignance explored in the Meachum family and the love story that ensues in Iron Fist really moved me at times and kept me caring about the characters and what happens, and if more is to happen from here on.
Whatever you may think or choose to do, don’t read too much into the negative reviews that arose ahead of the show’s premiere. Iron Fist is not the best show on Netflix, but it’s damn good TV, and the haterade is greatly over-exaggerated.
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Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.