One fan's re-imagined version of Iron Fist.
One fan's re-imagined version of Iron Fist.
Okay, its been out long enough to give my full thoughts without worrying too much about spoilers.
Overall, I thought it was an okay/pretty good show. Not the best Netflix Marvel offering. It basically ranks the same as Luke Cage (the full season, the first section of Luke Cage actually ranks tops for me), for me. The show did have problems, some of which hilariously almost seem like they were in response to complaints about other shows/movies (Too much flashback!, Not another origin story!).
Primarily, the show seemed to actively try NOT to be another origin story and NOT to rely upon origin flashbacks too much (there were some, but not to the extent of other shows/movies and more importantly not with the right quality to them)... much to its detriment. Its funny that one of the shows ad taglines was "Who is Danny Rand?" because at the end of the series, due to this avoidance of what has been done before, that question largely goes unanswered.
Characters do not exist in a vacuum, they are the sum of their experiences, their interactions with others, and their connections/foils... and Danny's story is devoid of so much of that on anything more than a very superficial level. We don't ever really find out who and what made Danny... Danny. We sort of hear about it, but that's pretty much it and that is against a fundamental film/television 101 edict... if possible, SHOW IT, DON'T SAY IT. Iron Fist has a lot of saying stuff about this, that, and the other thing... but shows us very little.
Danny's relationship to his parents, to their company, to the Meachums, to his K'un-Lun buddy, or even to K'un-Lun itself are all vague at best. Origin story is being avoided like the plague and as such these connections are just not very well established, so the drives and motivations of Danny in the series make little sense to the audience. And the same can be said of some of the other characters too. Joy Meachum has been noted a poor character on the show because she basically randomly jumps around from being Pollyanna helpful to supervillain antagonist with little rhyme or reason. However, if ANY significant effort had been made to SHOW her bond to Danny as children or development while Danny was away, and thus the torn nature of her character (we get some of this late in the series, but only a bit), I imagine this wouldn't be an issue. Evidence of this I would say is the character of Ward Meachum. Ward is a character we actually DO get to know over the course of Iron Fist and get to know very well indeed. Ironically, I would almost call Ward the real protagonist of the show not because he's the hero but because he is the shows most fully formed and fleshed out individual character who actually goes through a solid evolutionary character arch from the start to the finish of the series. Hell, even the primary when-they-were-kids flashback basically just sets up Ward as being a bully-and-a-jerk who'll knock over the board rather than lose... and the show actually gives us the WHY to that later on when the dynamics of Harold and Ward are shown.
I mean, I suppose the best comparison is to another Marvel Netflix show, and these shows all have more flashbacks/origin establishment but more importantly have substance to their flashbacks that allow us to KNOW the characters we're watching. Imagine a version of Netflix's Daredevil where we barely see any flashbacks to Matt's dad, except maybe the one shot of him responding to Matt's accident and the scene of Matt finding out about him dying. Everything else is just basically mentioned in passing in the present via hearsay from various random characters. We see maybe one or two glimpses of Stick but nothing substantial. Foggy is there, but no flashbacks to that relationship forming/developing, just maybe some lip service to this or that happening back in law school. Its all just Matt Murdock running around beating up criminals for vague reasons and occasionally explaining to folks he got training for a guy named Stick and has super-sensory powers... and that's it. You'd basically have Daredevil done the Iron Fist way... and it would be very much the worse for it, IMHO.
I know other folks took issue with some racial stuff, fights not being over the top wire fu, and Finn Jones not looking particularly ripped/like a guy who allegedly and plausibly spent over a decade training physically and in the martial arts non-stop... but I didn't take a lot of issue with such things myself.
Last edited by tomorrowtoday; 05-06-2017 at 04:05 PM.
I should also note that I kind of wonder if Iron Fist not having any semblance of his usual costume is maybe related to Daredevil's season one get-up perhaps not testing well, because, you know top of the face covering bandana pretty much IS Iron Fist's thing. I mean in the Defenders' trailer they literally have Jessica Jones making fun him using her scarf for the same effect.
The problem with Iron Fist really was he wasn't Iron Fist. I liked it... But...
He's NOT a guy "figuring out" his powers. By the time he gets back from Kun Lun, Danny is a full blown hero. He knows how to use it. That is what Iron Fist should have been. He should have been at full power.
Imagine if he showed up and had his full power.
Make Danny a hero.
Idea 1: Remember, Danny is a public hero.
Danny arrives at Rand Industries. He's doing his thing. Instead of some stupid plot about an asylum. We have the Hand get involved immediately.
Danny showing up would be bad for them. Thus THEY go after him. Now, where Daredevil has some problems... Iron Fist doesn't.
We suddenly see the realization that he's facing the Hand. He UNLEASHES the Kung Fu madness. Running on walls, fists glowing with fire, he unloads. The Hand freaks out and one of them tries to escape by running him over...
Danny Rand rams his hand into the car and rips it apart... The show shows us we aren't dealing with an amateur.
I would have liked to have seen uber-fighter Iron Fist right off the bat too. I suspect they didn't go that route to avoid reaching normal-comic-hero levels of conflict right off (and to keep Danny on the same level as the other Defenders, which doesn't make sense to me, but I could believe the writers/producers would go that route.) And, not having a mask meant no convenient substitutions of a highly-skilled stunt double in the fight scenes. (*sigh*)