Iron Fist: Season 1 Review
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Marvel’s Iron Fist falls flat from the start. It opens with Danny Rand (Finn Jones) walking into the Rand office building. Barefoot, dirty, and disheveled, he’s surprised that people don’t automatically accept that he’s the billionaire kid who was thought to have died fifteen years earlier.

The story is filled with gaps and flaws. At one point, Rand says, “I haven’t broken any laws.” But this is after he admits to buying a forged passport and knowing that it was a felony when he did it. Is Danny Rand a liar? Is this setting up a character arc in which a flawed character improves?

No, it doesn’t even work if he improves, since the scenes are barely connected by plot. What they are connected by is deus ex convenience. Danny meets a homeless man and becomes friends with him, but the guy dies of a drug overdose, so Danny doesn’t have to take a homeless person along in the plot.

  
 
What plot there is is simple enough. He uncovers why his plane really crashed, and it’s no spoiler to say that the plane was sabotaged. (Ever see someone close to a superhero die of an actual accident?) He has to take control of Rand, the billion-dollar company, and deal with the corporate corporateness while making non-corporate decisions. He’s almost a poster child for poster children. And, of course, he deals with the dark conspiracy of the Hand, which is a running theme to the street-level superheroes who will become the Defenders. Everything else is a set of trailer scenes and things that have to be there.

Of course, we also need an opening scenes enemy. Just make a childhood acquaintance kick young Danny in the balls. Make him Mr. Corporate Evil, Ward Meachum (Tom Pelfrey). And make him keep his acting flat.

The whole story has a tick-the-box kind of feel, with scenes that don’t make sense. Need to destroy one particular file? Burn the whole place down. Attempt to kill a guy fails? Drug him to sleep and then put him in an insane asylum. Why not kill him now? I have no idea, and I believe neither do the writers of this series.

Also, there’s no receptionist in any place where Danny needs to sneak in. No one looks in his direction when he doesn’t want to be seen. He can hear quiet conversations from any distance and through any closed door.

“We don’t want you here,” says Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup). Danny is crushed—as if the attempts to kill him, imprison him, and disinherit him didn’t say it strongly enough. And they didn’t; even that doesn’t work.

Every story comes to an end; this one was over before it started.

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