Iron Fist: Bad Reviews; Good Acting and Even Better Television

Marvel’s Iron Fist was released on Netflix on 17th March, 2017. There had been much anticipation, following the good reception from Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’ and ‘Luke Cage’. It is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name and is set in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. It’s the fourth in a series of Marvel Shows that will apparently set us up for a crossover show, aptly titled ‘The Defenders’.

Iron Fist is about Danny Rand, a man who survived a plane crash and comes back to civilisation a Kung Fu Master, with the rare ability to be able to call upon the Iron Fist. When he returns to his former life, he realises it is not as it seems and a lot has changed in the time he has been away.

Iron Fist stars British Actor, Finn Jones as Danny Rand (aka, the Iron Fist) putting him directly in the spotlight. Finn has also starred in ‘Hollyoaks’, ‘Doctors’, ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ and ‘Game of Thrones’. Many have claimed he is inexperienced, compared to fellow co stars Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey. Whereas Jones plays the star of the show, he is easily out shone by his co stars who have more depth. Even though Jones obviously easily has an idea about Danny Rand and who the Iron Fist is, watching it, it is clear he doesn’t connect with his character and is just there to get paid. At times, his performance is a clear joke and a bad decision on castings part. It took me until episode eight to be able to accept Jones as a serious actor. However, I’m sure Jones was just following orders from writers and directors when he was playing the part so it’s not all on him- the issue is there was more thought put into the other characters than the one the audience should be routing for the most.

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The real spotlight casts heavily on the character of Colleen Wing, played by the remarkable Jessica Henwick. Colleen Wing is an ally of Danny Rand, who is struggling to run her own martial arts group in a dojo in New York City. Wing has a perfect dry humour and a New York City intolerance for any drama or wrong doing. She appears to be a role model to her students and her only friend- somebody who isn’t willing to open themselves up but are comfortable doing so. She is a positive female role model, being able to handle herself and take down anybody who comes her way. She is a trained fighter, a woman not seeking a love interest, just some money to help her with her dojo. I would love for there to be a Colleen Wing spin off series.

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It was also lovely to see Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum, Danny’s childhood friend and sister figure. Stroup is one of Hollywood’s most modern scream queens, so it was incredible to see her doing Iron Fist, as she was so incredible as Silver in 90210. She is also a strong, business minded woman who holds her family together. Iron Fist is really just all about the incredible actresses they have hired to play these paramount, distinctive characters. It’s rare that you will find one decent, strong female character in a superhero themed product, let alone two. And after Marvel’s treatment of Black Widow, it’s refreshing to see they are making the effort.

The show can be praised over and over for it’s visuals. The incredible setting of Kun Lun. the fast paced fight scenes and at times, the poisonous editing that made certain scenes so uncomfortable, it was perfect. It fits superhero codes and conventions perfectly with it’s New York City setting and the urban areas they shoot in. The T.V show reminds me of elements from Video Games such as ‘Grand Theft Auto:3’ and ‘Sleeping Dogs’ with the heavy involvement of Triads and Drug Trafficking in an urban setting. But the business like professionalism of the Rands, reminds me of Toby McGuire’s generation of Spider-Man Films. That combination almost makes the show nostalgic and at times, really taboo. The fact that Marvel is so comfortable involving things such as Drug Trafficking in a T.V show, really leaves you behind the impression that the franchise is growing up. We are starting to see a lot of real world bad stuff happen in these shows and films, making the plot and the characters feel even more realistic.

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I would definitely give it a watch, takes around six episodes to get into it properly, but it’s all fast paced from there. Each episode is like a mini movie and it’s definitely gonna get the attention of the loyal Marvel Fandom.

 

 

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