These impressions contain spoilers for the first episode of ‘Iron Fist’ Season One.
The final Defender approaches in Netflix/Marvel’s Iron Fist. We’ve had Daredevil. We’ve had Jessica Jones. We’ve had Luke Cage. Now we have Iron Fist/Danny Rand, played by Finn Jones. Unfortunately, this starting episode is a little rough.
It’s mostly just a bedraggled Danny Rand wandering barefoot around New York City repeatedly taking no for answer and breaking and entering to talk with people who don’t want to talk with him. Nobody remembers Danny, and immediately think he’s a fraud. I mean why would you recognise him, he was ten-year-old and now he’s a twenty-something (the kid that plays his younger flashback self certainly doesn’t). I don’t know why he didn’t whip out the intimate details right from the get go.
We see flashbacks of his family’s private plane crashing over the Himalayas when he’s just a young boy. He somehow survived and learned some martial arts. Yep, another white guy who knows kung fu. He can flip over taxis without a second’s thought.
Danny literally has someone google names for him. There’s gotta be a more interesting way of dealing exposition than that. There’s this whole subplot about befriending a homeless person in the park. To be fair, Danny is pretty much a bum too. But the episode is both trying to poke fun at Danny’s homeless appearance and yet at the same time trying to create a sincere relationship. It’s not earned. When his friend dies from an overdose, there’s little grief, he sees a mysterious tattoo and we’re straight onto the next thing.
“You can find anything you want on the Internet.”
Harold Meachum, Danny’s father’s business partner, is not happy that Danny’s made a return, somehow threatening his operations, because we all know businesses are handed down through blood lines like Kings and Queens. It appears his children, Joy and Ward, are running the business so maybe that’s the world we’re living in. He’s pretending to be dead for some reason. Harold definitely took down that plane, just saying.
“How the hell did he learn martial arts?”
We don’t see any Iron Fisting (sorry). It took Daredevil a while to change out from his ninja getup to the more recognisable red mask with horns. But Danny isn’t even fighting crime syndicates yet, just harassing people, and beating up security guards.
He meets Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) who runs a dojo, and again Danny gets rejected (I mean, obviously), and that’s about it. Hits are ordered on Danny, and we see him dispose of his attackers. There’s something off about the fight scenes. Daredevil’s fight scenes were kinetic, but here it’s like they’re training in a dojo out in the real world. Attacks don’t look to actually connect and Danny’s movements are needlessly acrobatic. Sadly we don’t get to see Henwick being badass yet, she just stands watch and doesn’t get involved.
Trust me… you don’t wanna know what it feels like to have a practice sword smack you hard on the side of the face.
In the episode cliffhanger Danny gets drugged by breaking into Joy’s apartment. Frankly, he kinda deserved it. This isn’t a promising start to Iron Fist, and dragging myself through another twelve episodes is hardly appealing.
First Impressions: This might be the weakest Netflix-Marvel outing yet. Tempted to skip this entirely and jump straight into The Defenders.
Where to watch: Netflix