After being missing and presumed dead for 15 years, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) returns to New York City to reclaim his family legacy in the Rand Corporation. Built by Danny’s father and their family friend Harold Meachum (David Wenham), the Rand Corporation is a massive enterprise now run by Harold’s children, and Danny’s childhood friends, Ward (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy (Jessica Stroup). In order to do anything, Danny will first have to convince people that he’s really who he says he is, which becomes difficult to believe when he starts explaining how he’s come to master the art of kung-fu, as well as the fact that he also claims to be Iron Fist, a mythical warrior with powerful abilities.
With Iron Fist set to premiere on Netflix on Friday, March 17, 2017, I was able to watch the first 6 episodes to see where the latest Marvel series will be taking viewers. The final series before the characters from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage come together as the Defenders, Iron Fist is something that fans will have been looking forward to for a very long time, but it may not have the same power as those previous series.
With this being the last introduction to a new character, the pace of the first 6 episodes lacks a little of the action and excitement that fans will probably be hoping for. Of course, these series tend to take drastic turns around the halfway point, and it looks like Iron Fist is no different. It’s in episode 6 that we finally see the power and determination of Danny, as well as getting a bigger taste of the action that is sure to follow. Until that point though, the fighting is limited to some small moments, with much of the opening episodes focused on Danny actually convincing people of who he is.
Strangely, we don’t really learn much about any of the characters beyond some superficial things, and there are plenty of questions to be answered in the second half of the season. Thankfully, those characters are all portrayed wonderfully by the actors, so even when things can drag a bit, it’s still compelling to watch. Jones is outstanding as Danny Rand, a young man who is still caught a world between being a child and an adult. Taken in by monks after a plane crash in the Himalayas that claimed the lives of both his parents, Danny hasn’t been exposed to quite as much as everybody else has, so his pleasure and confusion in some situations gives Iron Fist a little bit of humour.
The series is also filled with amazing female characters, from the returning Rosario Dawson as Claire, and Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth, to the new characters of Joy (Stroup) and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), another talented martial artist who has a bit of a dark streak to her. They’re all capable, fully fleshed out, powerful women who rarely have to rely on the heroes to save the day. It’s consistent with the previous Marvel series, making sure that women are very rarely playing ‘damsels in distress.’
Colleen can hold her own in a fight, and the character is actually rather dark. It’s a great contrast to Danny, who fights for what is right, while Colleen tends to enjoy the simple fact of beating someone up. It scares her a little, but it’s something she can’t deny, and it’s a great addition to a genre that tends to be filled with characters who battle for the better of everybody.
When we are treated to some action in the first 6 episodes, it’s something that is handled much differently from the other Marvel series. Daredevil is always a very gritty fighter, while Luke Cage simply overpowers everyone around him. Jessica Jones brought almost as much power as Luke Cage, but with a large dose of intelligence, preferring a brains over brawn kind of style. Iron Fist tends to fight in a very smooth, thoughtful style. The action sequences are very well choreographed and have a flow that you won’t find in the other series. It’s a shame it’s seen so sparingly in the first 5 episodes, but episode 6 opens the floodgates and it’s easy to see the kind of exciting action that awaits viewers when Iron Fist is finally released on Friday, March 17, 2017.
Is Iron Fist screening worthy?
Of course this is essential if you’ve followed the previous series, and Iron Fist manages to stand out as well. It can be a bit slow at first, but by the time you’ve marathoned your way through the first couple of episodes, you’ll be hooked. Lets be honest, we’re all going to watch this one in less than a few days anyway, so a few slow episodes to begin with won’t really hurt.
Iron Fist premieres Friday, March 17, 2017 on Netflix. Check their website for more information.