TV Review: “Iron Fist” – Forced and Inorganic

Written by Danielle Sing April 17, 2017

iron fist

Iron Fist is Netflix’s last Marvel solo series before the ensemble cast Defenders releases later this year.  Iron Fist was met with controversy from the beginning with its casting of Finn Jones as Danny Rand. Iron Fist is similar to the second season of Daredevil in its flaws. There is an issue – or two, or five – when it comes to the villain of the series, and the mind tricks are more confusing than intriguing.

After 15 years, the assumed dead Danny Rand (Finn Jones) returns to New York City and to his father’s company, Rand Enterprises. But Danny soon discovers that the company is no longer his families. Danny must fight to establish himself as a shareholder of Rand Enterprises and as the Iron Fist. Danny struggles to know who to trust, finding enemies in friends both old and new.

“It’s my name. It means something.”

The main issue with the second season of Daredevil was the villain. Daredevil had no significant villain in its second season and Iron Fist has too many.  People you thought were villains turn out not to be and vice versa. Some have one episode arcs and some are for the entire season. By the end of it, you aren’t sure who Iron Fist is supposed to be protecting or who he’s fighting, and it seems like he doesn’t know either. It just adds to the confusion of the series. The flashbacks are a mix of seizure inducing and a static screen. They’re constantly repeating themselves as if there’s some new importance to a scene we’ve seen ten times already. They say “show, don’t tell”, but sometimes simplicity is better.

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The mind tricks are another source of confusion. There are moments of brainwashing that are cult-like compared to the other Marvel/Netflix series. There’s always some higher moral ground in the Marvel/Netflix series, but Iron Fist focuses on only one point of view that’s left unquestioned and denies every other opposing thought. This happens twice, so the audience could be confused on which one to believe. All in all, Danny Rand still seems to be a child unsure of who he is and who to believe. That or the writers are the ones confused.

“You’re working too hard. Too much external force. It’s internal force you want to master.”

At least the fighting is okay. Okay is a nice way to put it. The fighting on Jones’ part seems inorganic and forced. Jessica Henwick, who plays Colleen Wing, is the best fighter in the series and I’m excited to see her return for The Defenders. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more than the fighting that feels inorganic and forced. The dialogue, the chemistry, and even some of the acting is off. The series is not terrible, it’s just not good either and as a Marvel/Netflix fan, that is heartbreaking. The best thing about the series that Danny Rand’s Iron Fist doesn’t look fake or gimmicky.

iron fist

Iron Fist is a catch 22. You have to watch Iron Fist to understand his origin for The Defenders but it’s not going to be the best 13 hours you’ve spent on Netflix either.

My Rating: 5/10

iron fist

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