WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!
Iron Fist was the long awaited last addition to The Defenders and it disappointed a fair few. A show that sat in production hell for a while before they finally figured it out, many had high expectations for it. The fact that they could have cast an American-Asian actor to play Danny Rand instead of a skinny White British guy was the main gripe of many (it was mine at one point for sure). Danny is a rich white kid from New York in the comics, so perhaps casting him differently and changing that characterization may have made critics warm to him a little better. But I digress. Looking aside the fact that the stories in Jessica Jones and Luke Cage were more impactful the show was decent and I’m going to give you 5 reasons why Marvel’s Iron Fist was better than we think!
The Kingpin, Kilgrave and Cottonmouth. The villains in these shows time after time tend to steal the show, and it wasn’t any different for Iron Fist. The Hand are the sworn enemy of Kun-Lun. And have of course has been the recurring “big bad” since season 1 of Daredevil, but Iron Fist needed it’s own stand alone bad guy.
Now many would say it had too many antagonists. Madame Gao was prominent throughout, we were introduced to Bakuto, another leader of The Hand, and of course Harold Meachum. Harold’s character was not only that of a heinous business man, but he was an abusive and down right evil father. Harold abused his son Ward regularly and murdered innocent people, all the while doing it with this disturbing grin plastered across his face. Unaware that anything he did was wrong, Harold remained confident that he was a good business man and a good father.
Nothing is more unsettling than watching a man beat his own son, then cradle him afterwards, convincing himself and his child it was the necessary thing to do. I always believed that Kilgrave was the most evil villain the Netflix shows had ever immortalised. But I have to say, Harold Meachum is certainly up there with him. Abusive fathers do not sit well with me.
It had everything a Marvel Netflix show should have.
Both seasons of Daredevil were amazing. Violent, nail biting and adrenaline fuelled action that kicked off the Marvel/Netflix pairing perfectly. Jessica Jones was dark and ultra violent. Luke Cage had serious messages woven within and was highly entertaining. Iron Fist managed to incorporate most of these themes within it’s story-telling.
The show highlighted the seriousness of mental health issues, alongside drug abuse and child abuse. Although it wasn’t Danny’s story arc, the message was still prominent. There was genuine humour, coming not only from Danny but from all the character’s at one point or another.
But most importantly it was still kick-ass and violent in places, not as much as it’s predecessors but who can forget that scene where Harold is smashing the teeth out of two dead bodies on his floor. Pretty nasty. The most exciting scenes were the fight sequences, which would usually leave us all wondering if our protagonist would triumph or not. Certainly ticks all the boxes for me.
The fight sequences
Speaking of fight sequences. Lets talk about how amazing those were, in particular Colleen Wing’s scenes. Yes, watching Danny use the “Iron Fist” was bad-ass a lot of the time, but I found myself enjoying Colleen’s scenes just that little bit more.
Whenever I saw she was about to throw down I would get so hyped up.
Viewers were treated to perfectly choreographed scenes that seemed almost out of place in a western television production. Danny and Davos escaping The Hand’s training facility was a highlight for me, along with the Drunken Master scene in China and of course Colleen fighting in the illegal tournament.
I wondered before it aired, if the show would just rely on the martial arts aspect of things, and in a way it did. I think it wanted viewers to see how much effort and time they had put into creating these scenes and in my opinion it certainly paid off.
Progressive roles for women
There has been a constant in the Marvel/Netflix shows throughout, that the women in them kick some major ass. Its no different when Iron Fist is concerned. Although I was disappointed that Colleen was Danny’s love interest, and that her story was as fleshed out the other ladies in the show. She was just reduced to his love interest. She had her own arcs and plot points, and was as I’ve stated previously, bad-ass!
Claire Temple returns of course, and has fully transformed from a smart talking nurse of Hells Kitchen to a brave and tough companion to The Defenders, who is still of course smart talking, and just plain smart. Constantly schooling Danny throughout her time with him.
And how could anyone forget Joy Meachum. Her development was one of the most interesting in the entire show. At first we all believed she was just the innocent little naive sister to the “slimy” and “dodgy” Ward Meachum. But throughout the shows progression her true colours spilled out, and she was just as driven and manipulative as her father, so much so that she could very well become season two’s new villain. Well especially now she wants to kill Danny Rand, kind of puts her in that position anyway.
I’m still not sure if it was the writers intentions to have everyone join Team Ward, but it happened and many, myself included believe it’s what kept many watching the show in the first place.
I hated him in the first episode like many others, but as his character developed along with his somewhat disturbing story arc, I found myself unbelievably drawn to him. I found myself becoming more and more engrossed in his story and incredibly sympathetic towards his pain. His destructive behaviour was brought on by his abuse by his father which led to a lack of any normal social skills and a serious drug addiction. This poor guy may have had “the world” but he was suffering and it wasn’t going to go unnoticed by the fans.
Tom Pelphrey’s performance was incredible and along with David Wenham’s portrayal of Harold Meachum the two of them certainly stole the show in my opinion. The only reason I would want a second season of this show is to see more of Ward Meachum, I just want to know if he’s going to be ok!
Do you disagree? Do you think the show was beyond salvation and have something to say about it? You know I love to get into it so why don’t you leave a comment below or tweet me @nellycoo
As always I hoped you enjoyed this weeks listicle and thank you for reading!