I wouldn’t wish Iron Fist on my greatest enemy.
The American kung-fu master known as Iron Fist is a poor follow-up by Netflix to the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. From the very first episode, we are spun into the most boring roller-coaster ride yet. Danny Rand has just returned from over fifteen years in hiding after the death of his parents. When he seeks out those closest to him, nobody believes his identity, casting him out with bodyguards and a poorly shot action sequence – a sad fact that doesn’t end there.
Iron Fist is often okay, but the horrendous storytelling and characterisation drag down the good will of the series’ better moments. There’s no nuance to be found in the portrayal of Asian culture, which contributes to the series’ stylistic blandness.
Of all the characters, Finn Jones’ Danny Rand is the worst of the lot. 90% of the time Danny is either complaining, confused, or having a rage tantrum comparable to a twelve year old boy. Secondary characters are far more interesting, with some characters showing a lot of growth through the season. Meanwhile, Danny ends the series the same way he started: a brat with no sense of responsibility.
It’s a shame then, that the final scene of the show is so enticing. Had it come at the halfway point, Iron Fists’s first season may have been much more thrilling and faster-paced. Instead, we get a series from Marvel that isn’t just a disappointment in storytelling, it also buries itself as a poor reflection of Asian culture.