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Superhero universes always build to a climax. For the Marvel films, that climax is the impending Infinity War story. For DC, it is the creation of the Justice League. For the Marvel Netflix shows, it's the gradual development of the street-level Defenders team. Iron Fist is the last piece of that puzzle, and while the final solo Defenders series will debut later this month, the critics have spoken, and it appears the freshman Marvel series hasn't been entirely welcomed. You can check out our full review by clicking this link, but here's what CinemaBlend's Nick Venable had to say about the new show.
While Nick doesn't necessarily go out of his way to classify Iron Fist as a bad show, his tweet points out that it accomplishes less than the other Marvel Netflix series. If we're going to rank the current Marvel Netflix series (while reserving judgment for The Defenders and the upcoming Punisher series), then it appears that Iron Fist is currently bringing up the rear.
That opinion seems to be echoed by We Got This Covered's recent review of the upcoming Netflix project, which acknowledges the inherent fun of a new Marvel series debuting, while also pointing out the fact that certain tropes and ideas from this universe have become tired. The review specifically says:
Marvel fanatics will relish another addition to the growing Netflix canon but should be forewarned of the diminishing returns inherent in the fun but subpar Iron Fist.
Moving on from that, Collider's review of Iron Fist goes into a bit more detail on that topic. Specifically, the review acknowledges the fact that Iron Fist seems to focus on the wrong aspects of the titular character -- opting to spend far too much time on his real life problems and less on his supernatural and mystical elements that make him so unique.
Iron Fist isn't terrible, and some of it is actually very good, but it should be so much better. What could have been the boldest series is instead the quietest. Seriously ... in the comics, the man gets his powers from punching a dragon in the heart, but that's withheld from us? If I wanted to focus more on reality I wouldn't spend so much time watching superhero TV.
Marvel's Iron Fist starts off sluggishly, seeming far more like a soap opera than a superhero series, complete with bland, pretty, rich people sneering and scheming over family fortunes.
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're likely under the assumption that the action will be Iron Fist's saving grace in the long run. After all, the show has the word fist right in the title. However, THR's review of the show seems to suggest that Finn Jones' portrayal of Danny Rand and the overall lack of quality stuntwork do not help sell this hero as a genuinely physical presence.
It's unclear if Jones' lack of physical authority is dampening Iron Fist's ability to be an action show or if Iron Fist's lack of interest in being an action show has negated Jones' ability to display physical authority. For five episodes, Danny's fights are weakly staged and all-too-brief, without any effort to even pretend that the show's leading man is doing any of his own stunts.
However, despite the fact that Finn Jones' Danny Rand doesn't make an enormous impression on audiences, certain silver linings have been acknowledged online. Film School Rejects' Neil Miller took to social media to praise Jessica Henwick's portrayal of Colleen Wing (as well as the show's VFX) while also pointing out that not much else works on the series. He said:
That feels like an important way to wrap things up. Iron Fist is not uniformly bad, and there are even some seriously standout qualities here. However, it just doesn't live up to the standard set by its predecessors.
It's becoming increasingly apparent that Iron Fist is the first Marvel Netflix series to miss the mark with audiences, but you can check out our full review here for more information about Marvel's fourth Netflix series. You will have to wait and see how to show turned out for yourselves when Iron Fist debuts on March 17 at 12:01 a.m. PST. Head to our Netflix premiere schedule to see what else is coming this year, and our midseason premiere schedule can tell you what is hitting everywhere else on the small screen.
For more information related to all of the other 2017 spring TV debuts, make sure to check out our comprehensive midseason premiere guide.