OK so I finished Marvel’s Iron Fist here are my initial thoughts (I will keep this as spoiler free as possible I promise)
Overall the show is very much watchable and enjoyable. It is however the worst of the four Marvel Netflix shows. Ward Meachum was too much of 90’s corporate villain. Danny Rand just feels awkward at times but with the series being an origin series it makes sense for him to be awkward and coming into his own as both Danny Rand, the boy who survived and the Iron Fist. Colleen was a nice balance for the show however Claire Temple felt out of place and forced into the story just to be the single connection to all four shows. Some people have said that the fight scenes were sloppy, I do not agree I feel they were well done I just wish there were more of them. I felt the show was greatly lacking in action scenes and the ones they did have felt way too short.
The critics absolutely destroyed this show and accused it of whitewashing the cast, except that Danny Rand has always been a New York-born Caucasian man since his introduction in Marvel. So to cast an Asian actor to play Danny Rand would be wrong. I am not insensitive to cultural appropriation however to recast the character to be Asian just because the story is based in Asian mythology, and Kung-Fu is also wrong. It would be recasting for political correctness which is not fair to those who have enjoyed these stories and envisioned their live action to be in a certain way. This is not a situation where they had a White actor play an Asian character, unlike the film Gods of Egypt that very clearly had White actors playing characters of Mediterranean, African and Egyptian origin. Show co-creator Ray Thomas did say he would have entertained the idea of an Asian Iron Fist, but they would have had to killed off Danny Rand first and fans would not have been happy.
In my opinion, the reason why Iron Fist is not faring well with critics and some fans is because it is vastly different that the other Netflix Marvel shows. Jessica Jones also had a similar issue when compared with Daredevil, and later on Luke Cage. Both Daredevil and Luke Cage were vigilantes ( we can debate if Luke Cage is or isn’t at another time but for this purpose he is). Both had a lot of violence and action. Where as Jessica Jones was very much more of a psychological thriller than an action show and Iron Fist is based very heavily in Asian Mythology and holistic practices with centering one’s Chi and the constant meditation. Even the idea of K’un-Lun and Shou-Lao are mythical and very different from a blind man with enhanced senses, a medical experiment gone wrong (or right) to create Luke Cage, or even accidental contact with experimental chemicals as is the case with Jessica Jones. The origin and mythos of Iron Fist does not fit with the tone of the rest of the Marvel Netflix Universe. Yet I feel when the four come together in the upcoming The Defenders mini-series Danny Rand will be the balance that keeps the group grounded (also bankrolled since he is a billionaire).
One its own Iron Fist is a good show, despite the issues the critics claim. However, as I stated, when put together with the rest of the Marvel Netflix Universe it falls short. I do believe they will renew for a second season because I think it will and has done well enough with fans to warrant it. I mean Netflix gave “Fuller House” a second season and that did way worse numbers wise than Iron Fist has.My issues are not with Iron Fist itself but with the entire Marvel Netflix Universe. I will save those for another post as it would contain Iron Fist spoilers and I want to give people time to get caught up.
Have you seen Iron Fist? What are your thoughts?