By Emmet Jones
In 2008, Marvel Studios started a campaign to finally make a Cinematic Universe for all of their superheroes to co-exist and fight villains. Iron Man set all this in motion, a domino effect to making at least three Marvel Superhero Movies a year, and enough back content for us to fall in love with the characters.
However, in 2015, Marvel, ABC Studios & Netflix came together to make a far grittier addition to the Cinematic Universe, with the launch of Daredevil. The protagonist became the first “street-level” superhero which took on criminal gangs and the everyday problems of people in New York City, while Thor, Iron-Man & Captain America saved the world from intergalactic and inter-dimensional threats.
Daredevil, Jessica Jones & Luke Cage all brought a grounding reality to the universe, and in anticipated move they will all be included in the collective “The Defenders” television show out later in 2017. The last member of the team, Iron Fist, was released in March 2017, and before I go any further, I have to say it was the weakest addition to the group so far.
Finn Jones – whom viewers will recognise as HBO Game of Thrones Sir Loras Tyrell – plays Danny Rand, also known as the Iron Fist. In a story arch incredibly copycat-esque of Batman, Danny is orphaned when his parents are killed in a plane crash from which he survives, and then he is raised by Buddhist Monks and schooled in ancient Kung Fu, in the secret city of Kun Lun.
When Danny returns out of the blue to New York City, he is met with suspicion and confrontation by the new managing directors of his father’s company, whom also turn out to be his childhood friends. After a rigmarole plot of re-obtaining his billionaire status from Joy & Ward Meechum, he sets out to do some good.
And that is literally the key plotline of the first five episodes of the season, with some boring business side-plots that are overwhelmingly insignificant tossed in as padding.
The only redeeming part is the introduction of Jessica Henwick, who plays Coleen Wing, a Martial Arts Sensei and practitioner that has much more depth and focus than the Bruce Wayne wannabe Danny. Villains wise, we have the puppeteer behind Rand Enterprises Harold Meechum – played by David Wenhem – the father of Joy & Ward, who was brought back from the dead by The Hand, a fearsome reoccurring enemy across this cinematic universe.
The return of various characters that have regularly appeared across the different series’; Jeri Hogarth, Claire Temple & the insidious Madame Gao were underused, but very much essential.
I’m a big Marvel fan, I really enjoy what they do, but “Iron Fist” seems rushed, ill-scripted and a poor addition to the Netflix Pantheon. As their television content goes, this Kung Fu Billionaire childish chappie Danny Rand has to seriously grow up for “The Defenders”, or I reckon Luke Cage might snap him in two.