BY DARIAN SABLON
When it was first announced, Marvel’s “Iron Fist” was widely expected to be a home run, not only thanks to it bringing in a new facet into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the mystical arts, but also in part due to its Marvel brand, these days renown for only creating the best.
Things started to fall apart as controversy arose around its main lead, Finn Jones, being a white male rather than an Asian-American. Early reviews also complained of its poor acting and lackluster action choreography.
Almost ten days after its release, with some space between the major storm surrounding the show, now is the perfect time to really consider whether “Iron Fist” was as bad as we thought or if it had any merit to it at all.
The first thing to talk about is of course “Iron Fist’s” main lead, Finn Jones. Ever since he was cast, many were very displeased that that the title character Danny Rand was being cast as a white male instead of an Asian-American. Although personally I didn’t really care what ethnicity Rand was as long as the story and the acting was good, I still found myself disappointed at Finn Jones’s performance.
Jones throughout the series was very mundane in his performance, not giving any nuance to the character that creators called and “outsider.” He was very bland and monotone when giving lines and seemed to have only two emotions: very quiet and sad to explosive and angry.
Previous Marvel Netflix shows like “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” are known for their immersive and intense fighting sequences. “Daredevil” specifically takes advantage of New York City’s small alleys and hallways to create an atmosphere of claustrophobia and fast pace when main character Daredevil is beating up criminals.
Although innovative at first, this style of action was growing repetitive, being seen in every Marvel Netflix series up to “Iron Fist.” A golden opportunity opened up for Marvel however, with “Iron Fist’s” rich backstory of martial arts and mystics in the comics, to create a new and refreshing way of fighting. Sadly, they did not take up the chance and just went back to good old hallway fist punching. And Finn Jones’ very weak choreography did not help at all.
This isn’t to say that “Iron Fist” did not have any merits. One of the best parts of the entire show was Jessica Henwick, playing Colleen Wing.
In the show, Colleen Wing is the owner of a martial arts dojo who meets Danny Rand while hanging up ads for her school. Although seemingly overly righteous at first, the audience soon finds out that Wing as more to her than we previously thought. Henwick was the exact opposite of Jones, giving a performance that was heartfelt and layered, showing us a character with complex emotions and actions all while trying her best to survive in a world that is less than friendly.
Her action sequences were fast paced, but unlike the usual hallway fights, had a different feel to them that I expected from the entire show. Props also to Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey, playing Joy and Ward Meachum respectively. Close siblings, Joy and Ward’s relationship is one of the highlights of the show, often displaying their sibling dependence on each other, particularly after one major event happens to Ward that I won’t spoil here.
Overall, although not as bad as most people made it out to be, “Iron Fist” was still a disappointing misstep in the MCU brand, one that I hope gets fixed soon in light of the miniseries “The Defenders” coming soon, where all the heroes of the Netflix shows come together because as of right now, I’m not so sure I want “Iron Fist” to be one of them.
- Good cinematography
- Decent CGI
- Mediocre acting
- Poor action scenes
- Boring plot