They said that Netflix’ “Iron Fist” (2017) was bad. They were … mostly right, at least as far as I can tell from the pilot. I’d rate the first episode a 4 out of 10.
This episode was a thinly scripted collection of common tropes, cluttered with clunky exposition and weird, improbable plot points. (A friendly homeless man helps the hero by googling key information for him on a stolen iPhone?) The show even managed to be briefly boring in parts.
“Iron Fist” has the depth and hastily concocted story of an 80’s primetime action show. But I don’t mean that in a fun, nostalgic way, I mean it in a bizarre, awkward way. I was actually reminded of Mystery Science Theater 3000 lampooning 1984’s ninja groaner, “The Master.” In fact … don’t “Iron Fist” and “The Master” have a similar story setup? There are some weird parallels, if you think about it.
Look … it wasn’t all bad. The fight choreography was actually damned good. I don’t know if that was actor Finn Jones performing the Kung-Fu, or a stunt double. But it was believable and a lot of fun to watch. It was nicely shot, too — the vibrant visuals had an appropriate comic-book feel, and were better than those that I would expect from this show’s companion series, “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” (2015).
I also submit that Jones is great in the role of the titular hero. He’s a decent actor, he’s well cast in the part, and I find Danny Rand to be a surprisingly likable protagonist. I just hope that “The Defenders'” new team-up places him in the hands of a better set of writers.