When preliminary reviews started to trickle onto the internet from critics who had been able to watch the first handful of Iron Fist episodes before it aired on March 17 I was concerned by the lackluster feeling that they all seemed to have. A lot of the reviews seemed to consider it slow and maybe even a little boring. The show that I watched, from start to finish, over this weekend has been anything but.
Iron Fist is Netflix’s fourth Marvel TV property and as such they have had 5 seasons of other shows to get the formula correct for fans of the comics and fans of the genre in general. They did not disappoint.
Despite the torrent of claims towards whitewashing and other negative press towards the show during its production, the show runners decided to cast Finn Jones as the main character Danny Rand, a young white man from New York with a mystical power to make his fast as hard as iron. The casting choice proved to be a fantastic one. Finn Jones played the role with an obvious passion and fit the character I have gotten to know in the comics better than most other actors I can think of.
The show starts off with a simple story that quickly spirals out of control for all the characters involved. A good number of the twists and turns I saw coming from a mile away, some I did not expect at all. The pacing of each arc inside of the show felt natural and well thought out, very few scenes or ideas were dragged out well beyond their lifespan. Now that the show has reached its climax, I am ready and waiting for The Defenders to hit our screens later this year.
The action is a big part of what draws people into the Iron Fist comics. Brutal Kung Fu battles between the Iron Fist and the Hand Ninja’s. The Netflix show delivers in spades. Unlike Season 2 of Daredevil, Iron Fist is sadly lacking in faceless ninja minions for the main hero to beat down and be beaten up by in return. But there is never any lack to the action in this show.
Perhaps some of the best parts of it though are the other characters.
Claire Temple makes a return to our screens, continuing to provide a conscience to the main characters. Patching them up and even providing some backup to them in several tough spots. But on top of her Madame Gao returns to cause further problems for New York and is tied in nicely to the Meachum family. The family who had been running Rand Corp in the absence of the Rand family.
Joy Meachum is played by Jessica Stroup and she is fantastic in her role. Tom Pelphrey plays her older brother Ward and is nearly as fantastic as he is hateable. But the crowning achievement is David Wenham’s performance as the father Harold. Each one of these three actors, holds the story and the plot together where the concept of a Kung Fu super hero would only fail.
Overall the Iron Fist show is a must watch for anyone invested in the Marvel Cinematic universe. One that unlike some of Netflix’s earlier shows is not difficult to consume in large amounts. While its MA15+ rating may deter some, it is a show with a great amount of promise and speaks well for the future of Marvel shows on Netflix.