Iron Fist is now streaming on Netflix. It has this eager and hopeless air about it, an ugly shelter dog that wants to be loved despite its crude proportions, its hurried design. He comes back with mysterious new powers that include martial arts expertise and the ability to summon the power of the Iron Fist. And if you think this ritual was easy, then think again. Because this is not Netflix's first time at this frequently unrewarding rodeo.
He's the fourth member and the final ingredient of what could turn out to be TV's most intriguing superhero series of them all.
It's as if Marvel and Netflix knew who the Defenders would be, but instead of fully-realizing what they could do with Iron Fist, they rushed, creating a series of unfortunate events that net them the first overall fail in the MCU (Thor films notwithstanding).
Warning: Mild "Iron Fist" spoilers ahead. With them, it borders on unconscionable. You can watch on Netflix's website or the app. During a later session, he asks Danny to show him the power of the Iron Fist in action, but thanks to the cocktail of drugs coursing through his bloodstream, Danny can't tap in to what he needs to make that happen - and Edmonds won't let Danny leave if he thinks he's less than sane. It's not like Iron Fist is a Daredevil-level hero. That series focused on the mystical side of Iron Fist, having him compete in a martial-arts tournament in another dimension.
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Jones, so bratty and appealing in his brief stint on Game of Thrones, is stymied by his character's American accent. Also, while Danny will frequently mention his time in K'un-Lun training under Lei-Kung, or his fight against Shou-Lao the Undying (that dragon we talked about earlier), we don't see much more than a few shots of Finn Jones in a monk's robes. "Everyone" includes his family friends - a brother and sister pair who now manage that business empire - and a no-nonsense martial artist named Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), who he crosses paths with. Joy, played on mute by Stroup, is happy to see her old childhood friend again, but also drugs him and sends him to a mental hospital out of some sense of familial protectiveness. Her supposedly badass comebacks and fight scenes might seem profound whittled down to brief social-media posts, but in the episodes they're lifeless. She's a ruthless, global heroin runner at first glance, and her appearances in Daredevil have repeatedly seeded hints that she has a more supernatural connection. That might all sound like the makings of a complex and interesting character, but there's no weight behind any of it, no shape or texture or goal.
Jeryn "Jeri" Hogarth began her tenure in the Marvel Netflix world as one of Jessica Jones' sources of employment. They're all plodding and empty, too little plot stretched out over too many episodes.
However, the casting isn't the only reason critics are finding issue with "Iron Fist", at least according to Jones.
The not-so-positive reviews that have published online are based on the show's first six episodes, which means there are still seven more chances in the 13-episode season for Jones to make a permanent first impression with his fists. Not Netflix itself-just this iteration of Marvel world-building, slapdash and dismal as it is.