If you feel like you’ve seen the latest Marvel series on Netflix, Iron Fist, before without actually having seen it yet, it’s because the show shares a couple of themes with its own films and even DC competitors. A wealthy Caucasian protagonist is taken out of civilization and is taught by a wise sage-like character, usually of Far East descent – or Celtic if you are counting Doctor Strange – and comes home to find his company in the wrong hands involved with some sort of corruption. But then there is also the issue of cultural appropriation.
Whatever the problems may be, thematically, its seems like it’s going to get worse before it gets better, as Iron Fist is being hailed as one of the first missteps for Netflix. Check out some of the early reactions below.
One common criticism to come out is that the pacing of the show is painfully slow. In fact, it takes quite a bit of time for the title character (played by Finn Jones) to bare the name. ComicBookMovie says the action doesn’t really start until episode two. In fact, the action is very sporadic, and nothing when compared to the preceding Marvel shows. However, the site says:
“This relaxed pace is likely to be a turn-off for some craving non-stop action” … “That’s not to say Iron Fist is boring, however.”
Collider may share the same sentiments, however, their criticisms paint a very different overall picture. One that doesn’t bode well for the show:
“The editing is choppy, the narrative doesn’t connect particularly well, and Danny’s personality and decision making abilities are split somewhere between an adult man and a 12-year-old boy (which is no real fault of Jones’ — he comes off as charming). It leaves the show with a lot of moving parts and a lot of potential, but ultimately without a central drive or clear motivations.”
The Hollywood Reporter says that the Netflix and Marvel collaboration “was due for a dud.” They acknowledge that the three previous shows, while great, had their flaws. But they add:
“Iron Fist feels like a step backward on every level, a major disappointment that already suffers from storytelling issues through the first six episodes made available to critics and would probably be mercifully skippable in its entirety if it weren’t the bridge into the long awaited Defenders crossover series.”
For Uproxx, the show’s leads lack chemistry, with their dialogue being “painfully dull” and the action is brief. “The problem is that Iron Fist is virtually all talk — most of it painfully dull — and the fighting is both brief and unconvincing.” Most would agree that the Marvel shows run out of gas at least midway or by episode 8 into the season, but Uproxx adds, “Iron Fist begins as if it’s already at that sag point — and an unfortunate illustration of the perils of miscasting.”
Variety calls the characters of Iron Fist flat and by-the-numbers. According to them, “the action scenes lack spark, snap, and originality,” and say the show is “as exciting as a slice of Velveeta cheese left out in the sun too long.”
While I haven’t seen the show myself, I got the feeling that the show was heading in the wrong direction. I feel as though Jessica Henwick should have been the lead and named Danielle Rand. You know, put a gender and race bend on the character. You can still call her Danny as a nickname to keep the spirit of the character alive. But to see something that we’ve all seen before, it’s a bit disappointing that they didn’t mix it up a bit to avoid being mistaken for Batman Begins, Arrow, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and on and on and on.
Still, I like to be proven wrong, and we’ll see if I am wrong when the show debuts all 13 episodes on March 17, 2017.