Skip to main content

Setup Complete

When I wrote my blog post on the previous Netflix series, Luke Cage, I noted it was only about 90% as dark as Daredevil  and Jessica Jones. Iron Fist  is only about 90% as dark as that series. While that does make me question the Mature rating, I have no problem with that.

I feel in the mood to structure at least the beginning of this review on my feelings on complaints I've heard

1. The acting and writing: I'm sure my bar is lower than others but I feel people who feel the strongest about this have never watched movies on Lifetime or Hallmark. (Oddly, I read a comment on Twitter from a complainer that he had higher hopes for Cloak and Dagger on Freeform than  Inhumans on ABC. Special effects budget, sure but writing and acting? I think that's an iffy wager at best but I digress.)

Finn Jones and Jessica Henwick are great as Danny Rand and Colleen Wing. Danny to me is just as a 25 year old man who spent 15 years cut off from the world as he knew it in a monastery (think stereotypical brutal Asian orphanage) who trained him to be a weapon and Defender (...ahem...) of a land that wasn't his would be. He is the first outsider to be trained as The Iron Fist.

Sacha Dhawan made an interesting Davos. Very similar to Harold Meachum in motivations (to become the villainous Steel Serpent) but way more whiny. The actor's nationality makes me think while he himself is native to K'un L'un, I would not be surprised if an ancestor happened upon the realm and stayed....

In addition to Rosario Dawson appearing in the 4th consecutive Marvel Netflix series as Claire Temple, but for the first time actually acknowledging it for my tastes, Iron Fist has the distinction of being the first series to have a second recurring character in Jeri Hogarth. (Yes I know she had a doze and you'll miss it cameo in  Daredevil  but not worth counting.) Technically, the original male version of the comics came from Iron Fist not Jessica Jones/Alias so makes sense to those in the know but I still found it cool.

In terms of writing, there were more references to the other shows than previously. While cool overall, it may have been either used as a crutch too much or just in wrong places? (Not sure which way to lean here...) I did particularly love Claire's reactions to The Hand being mentioned. To me, she showed a breaking point of sorts like she's getting tired of continually running into gifted people who would rather take problems on themselves instead of ask for help. 

Speaking of recurring characters, the writers took great care to hide Madame Gao's identity in the first 4 episodes. It's frequently implied to me that my ability to recognize voice actors is some kind of super power but that can't be unique, can it? Here, how does one not know the old lady with the cane in the shadows is her unless you didn't see either season of Daredevil  but, if you didn't, why would you be watching this?   

2. Like Luke Cage, Iron Fist  has too many villains to choose from as The Big Bad but, too me, the problem is more understandable given the purpose of the season is to both establish Danny Rand as a character and to further tease the upcoming team-up. It's been suggested this series would be better received if it was placed just after  Daredevil  season 1.  Despite it curtailing Claire's awesomeness, I would suggest they had done the first seasons of all four series, followed by season 2 of  Daredevil as I assume must have been at least close to the original plan.  Doing Iron Fist too early would have just repeated the "world building" mistakes of  Iron Man 2, Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Batman v. Superman. In any case, Netflix corporate meddling is clearly at work here.

You could argue both Harold Meachum and The Hand were "origin villains" but Harold is the best fit for the label so let's stick with that. I was not the only one do notice he was basically Norman Osborn but I may be the only one that thinks that's a cool thing. (Now that I think about it, there are clear shades of Obadiah Stane as well...) Meachum definitely had personal reasons to hate the Rand family. The series implies he was there at the beginning when Danny's father, Wendell, started the company and is important enough to have his picture on the wall along side Wendell but why the company is just Rand and not Rand-Meachum is never explained to my satisfaction.  Truthfully, that reason probably doesn't matter to him.  People loved him, people hated him but I definitely fall into the former category.

3. Finally, let's address the Danny Should Be Asian argument. I wouldn't have objected if they had made that change but going with the original character design did not affect my enjoyment of the show. White people fly over the Himalayas all the time and some may even survive a crash. Let's say we make him Asian. Of course, all Asians know martial arts... Rand is apparently a pharmaceutical company not tech but, still, Asian businessman another stereotype. Danny is a "California Cool" Millennial. This category of character appears a lot in sitcoms and seem to always be Asian.  My point is the need to have a POC star would not be as clean as you'd want it to be...               

I really wish there were more  Kung Fu -style flashbacks. I mean watching a boy go through the Klingon Rite of Ascension was fine but I wanted stuff more like Stick and Matt and Danny to be referred to as "Cricket" perhaps... (Yeah, Stick being blind isn't a coincidence...) Speaking of that show, Keith Carradine, who appeared as teenage Kwai Chang Caine in a couple of the flashbacks, should have had a cameo somewhere.  Of course, making too much reference to that controversial show would further infuriate the Danny Should Be Asian lobby so I can see why they toned it down. Too Bad...



Popular posts from this blog

Thor Or Thunderstrike?

Marvel screwed the pooch with the Thor  franchise from the beginning. They took the more modern notion that the Asgardians are aliens not gods. In itself, that's fine but I can't help but think that just made it more complicated not less. (Wonder Woman  just killed them off which is better but that's still a big nitpick from me about THAT movie...)

I stopped regularly reading comics  after I graduated college in the early part of the century so I don't know when secret identities became passé but I think this also hurt the franchise. Originally, instead of dropping Thor on his head and giving him amnesia, Odin put him the mortal body of Donald Blake and then Eric Masterson. (Was that a complaint about Ghost Rider? Same concept really...)

In Thor: Ragnarok, to me, this '90's era of the comic where Eric Masterson WAS Thor was the best run of the comic and there were many Easter eggs from that period from Thor's Earth garb (with Mjolnir disguised as an umbrell…

Wasn't A Complete Punishment

Checking my Facebook Memories this morning, it is apparently the anniversary of my review of Jessica Jones.  In many reviews of  The Punisher Jessica Jones  is the pinnacle all other Marvel Netflix (or in some cases, Marvel shows on any network but that's a post for another time...) must be held to. I'll tell you straight out, I personally enjoyed both seasons of  Daredevil  more so... (Hell,  The Punisher  had a less annoying support cast...)

For reasons I didn't consider back then and don't care about now, comic books in the '90's saw the creation of more violent  characters to presumably dispel the notion comics weren't just for kids. Ironman, Thor, Captain America and, perhaps ironically, Batman got more gritty counterparts and the Punisher (and Deadpool) was created. Like most superheroes, Frank Castle's origins begin with the death of a family member; in his case, ALL OF THEM. In comics, it was due to be caught in the crossfire of a mob shootout…

Sunday Morning Movie Review

Black Panther was great. Just as  Wonder Woman  gave little girls a superhero to "look up to," little African boys (Yes, not just African American  boys) have their own hero. But what was even better about this movie is that it was so much more. It wasn't a stereotypical Eddie Murphy or Whitney Houston movie.  Even 5, 8 years ago, we wanted this to happen but this might have been just the right time. T'Challa is king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda that millennia ago became rich in a fictional mineral called vibranium that allowed them to  become the most technologically advanced country on Earth. They decided to keep this secret, however, and disguised themselves with a cloaking shield and the guise of a "shithole country." (See? Relevance!)

Wakanda has reached a crossroads. Xenophobia is really no longer working. The villain of the movie, Wakandan by blood but certainly not upbringing, Killmonger, takes the throne in an effort to take the Black…