Saturday, March 18, 2017
When I get ready to write a review, I make it a point to avoid reading anyone else's review. But I've seen enough comments on Social Media to know that quite a few reviewers have been giving Iron Fist low marks.
So far I've only seen the first episode of the latest Marvel / Netflix production, and it's apparent that the creative team is doing a slow rollout of (and introduction to) the main characters - but I like it!
The focus, of course, is on Danny Rand (played by Finn Jones), a young man whose father was a powerful man who owned a huge corporation. Danny and his parents crashed on a flight over (I believe) the Himalayas, and all were presumed dead - so it's a shock to the owners of the company when Danny shows up - alive, natch - at their door in New York more than a decade later.
The answer to the question of where he's been is hinted at - Danny mentions the land of K'un L'un and that he was trained in martial arts there (skills he gets to demonstrate a few times through the episode).
He finds a would-be ally in another martial artist, the beautiful Colleen Wing (played by Jessica Henwick), and he encounters new enemies in his childhood playmates, Ward and Joy Meachum (played with wicked verve by Tom Pelphrey and Jessica Stroup).
So how can he prove his identity? Why has he returned to his New York home? Why do the Meachums refuse to listen to him? What secret are they hiding? And when will we get to see the Iron Fist in action?
And why the bad reviews? The characters are interesting, there are some good plot twists, and the series has a nice Kung Fu vibe (which, for those not old enough to remember, was the TV series starring David Carridine as a Shaolin Monk wandering the old west).
I assume the reviews largely spring from either: 1) the desire of some reviewers to slam Marvel over something - there are those who can't stand success; or 2) they're angry because Danny is a white guy. There are those who think that's offensive, that a martial artist trained in China should be Chinese - and he could have been, I suppose - but the original story cast him as a white anglo-saxon, and it makes sense to stick to the original concept, just as they did with Luke Cage and the Black Panther.
Hopefully they'll get around to creating a series or film starring Shang-Chi, and all will be well.
In the meantime this is yet another terrific series from NetFlix - I'm looking forward to seeing the rest in the series!