The final Defender is unleashed in the latest Marvel Comics-based Netflix Original…
Starring: Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphry, David Wenham
Series created by: Scott Buck (Iron Fist created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane)
Written by: Scott Buck / Episode directed by: John Dahl
What’s it about?
Fifteen years after surviving a plane crash in the Himalayas, Danny Rand returns home with new abilities and in search of a purpose…
Launched on a wave of largely negative pre-release reviews, the premiere season of Marvel’s Iron Fist arrives on Netflix establishing the final member of the line-up for the Defenders. Much like Luke Cage, “Snow Gives Way” presents us with a slow yet intriguing start to the series.
As Danny Rand, Finn Jones (Game of Thrones) makes for a likeable lead, a dishevelled, humble drifter with signs of an inner strength and a wise, shrewd perspective beyond his years. Rand’s backstory is teased via a series of flashbacks where events from his childhood and a tragic plane crash in the Himalayas are revealed.
With the Rand family being declared dead during Danny’s absence, Rand Enterprises has come under the management of siblings Ward and Joy Meachum (Tom Pelphrey and Jessica Stroup, respectively) who are in disbelief that this stranger could be their long-lost friend, Ward in particular only interested in protecting his hold on the company.
With a focus on personal strife and corporate conspiracy, the script by showrunner Scott Buck (Dexter) does tend to evoke shades of Dallas but despite those soap opera-like elements being a little generic it does help to build character and plot. There’s also room for some comic book Kung-Fu action and whilst lacking the edge and brutality of Daredevil it has a grace and skill to it that goes hand in hand with the character’s philosophy and martial arts mastery. Another highlight is the introduction of dojo-master Colleen Wing, played by Jessica Henwick, who gets to have some fun interplay with Jones in a couple of key scenes that help to define both characters and hints toward a developing camaraderie.
It’s fair to say that the origin story presented in Iron Fist isn’t the most original, already familiar to viewers through the likes of Batman Begins and Arrow but Finn Jones turns in an enjoyable performance and the mystery surrounding Danny Rand’s absence, eventual return and his path to heroism has potential for, at the very least, entertaining viewing…but hopefully something a bit more.
The bottom line: Despite a slow start, there are still signs that Iron Fist could develop into another enjoyable Marvel series for Netflix.
All 13 episodes of Iron Fist season 1 are available to stream now via Netflix. The Defenders is due for release in the summer.