2017年3月18日 星期六

Thoughts on Marvel's Iron Fist

Watched all of Iron Fist, and yes, I deserve a medal.  Below are some thoughts.

1. "Whitewashing"

You can't whitewash a character that was already white.

This said, I wouldn't have minded if they'd cast an Asian actor as Iron Fist, but in that case they might just as well have done Shang-Chi.  People complaining about Marvel casting "people of color" as Heimdall, Nick Fury, or Valkyrie need to get a life.  It's 2017, and many of us would prefer these movies reflect the racial makeup of the world around us.  They're comic book characters for chrissakes.  The most interesting/entertaining interpretation wins.

Episode 1

2. The title sequence is lame.

Really, it's the worst yet.  Not sure what they were thinking with that kung-fu/calligraphy thing.  

3. The fight choreography makes me miss Daredevil.

Couldn't they have at least speeded it up a bit?  Or rehearsed more?  At least then it wouldn't look so incredibly fake.  Some of the later fight scenes are better, but that's obviously not Finn Jones behind the mask.

4. It starts off a little too much like Batman.

A younger, hippy-ish guy returning from his travels in the East?  Heir to a large fortune?  Opposed by an upstart within his father's company?  Where have I seen this before?

5. Finn Jones looks (and sounds) a helluva lot like Leonardo DiCaprio.

Really, he does.  That scene where he carjacks the guy reminded me A LOT of The Departed.  This said, he's not a bad actor.  It's only that he's trapped in a terrible script.

6. Jessica Henwick is FINE.

Hands-down the sexiest woman in any Netflix show yet.  I'd even put her above Elektra.

Episode 2


This episode is much better than the first, though it does drag a bit towards the end.  Joy Meachum is a bit slow on the uptake, but the plot makes more sense.

Episode 3


Jessica Henwick in white shorts and a tank top.  Jessica Henwick in yoga pants.  Damn, girl. 

The scene where Danny tries to "teach" Colleen will probably rub people the wrong way - cultural appropriation and all.  But I think that if the viewer can put his or her sexual/racial sensitivity to one side, it makes sense given where they are in the plot.

9. In too early?

This show might have been better if they'd started with episode 2.  Episode 1 was a clumsy way to get things going.

10. WTF?

Wait, what?  Colleen Wing is all like: "We don't dishonor ourselves by fighting for money," and then she's fighting for money?

Episode 4

11. And now she's fighting for money again.  Apparently to help one of her students?  I don't know for sure, but wouldn't Financial Aid be a better solution?

Side Note: This development makes even less sense given where the students end up in a later episode.

12. The dynamic between Danny and his "adopted" family doesn't seem realistic.  He misses them, they try to screw him out of both his company and his legal name, they try to push him out of penthouse windows, they're giving him the company lock, stock, and barrel, he's protecting them from hatchet-wielding assassins...

Episode 5

13. Hey, that's Rosario Dawson!

The Night Nurse shows up.  This after Jeri Hogarth from Jessica Jones made her appearance in episode 3.  Claire Temple's reticence regarding Matt Murdoch, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage is starting to seem kind of strange.

14. Fight!

Finally a good fight scene.  The fight in the shipping container felt like something from Daredevil.

15. Another familiar face.

Madame Gao, hinted at in previous episodes, is finally revealed.  I am, however, confused as to her allegiances.  Her presence in the penthouse would seem to indicate that she's a member of the Hand, but her much earlier appearances in Daredevil would suggest otherwise.  Maybe this will be explained later on?

Whatever Madam Gao's true designs, I've a party to go to tonight, and further episodes will have to await tomorrow.

Episode 6

16. Better or worse?

This episode has problems, but I think it's closer in tone to the comics that inspired it.  Ward is more interesting as a drug addict, and even though The Hand's version of Fight Club is kind of lame, Danny's fight with his last opponent is one of the best yet.

Episode 7

17. Getting Shakespearean around here...

Wow, the raiding of the Hand's drug operation was a real non-event.  Made me miss Daredevil all over again.  And then a murder at the end.  If this episode had just focused on Ward, and ignored Danny altogether, it would have been much better.

Episode 8

18. Nonsense!

This corporate takeover subplot is nonsense.  On what planet do corporations function like that?

Danny, Colleen, and Claire go to China.  How convenient that there's an English-speaking beggar sitting, inexplicably, in an alley behind the warehouse they're trying to infiltrate!

Episode 9


How dumb ARE these people?  They knew The Hand were fighting them with poisoned swords and spears in China!  Why does it take them so long to figure out that Colleen's been poisoned? 

And yes, the tinfoil throwing star thing is fucking ridiculous.

20. Getting better?

But hey, the bad guy is finally getting interesting.  Hopefully they saved the best for last.

Episode 10

21.Now this episode was MUCH better!

Episode 11

22. Cause for optimism.

Also much better.  The interplay between Davos, Danny, and Colleen makes the whole show more interesting.  This is what the whole thing needed from the beginning: more interesting characters, conflicting in the pursuit of various agendas.

Two more episodes to go, but it's late and I have work tomorrow.  I plan on watching episodes 12 and 13 after that.

Episode 12

23. A quick one.

Snuck in an episode before work.

The biggest problem with this whole series is that Danny's attachment to the Meachums is never explained.  It's not a given that he'd be so devoted to them.  Without such an explanation, his desire to constantly come to their rescue lacks the kind of dramatic weight it would have otherwise had.

The Hand just aren't good strategists.  What the hell happened to these guys since the second season of Daredevil?  Shouldn't they be a lot more menacing?  Shouldn't they have a better plan?  Isn't long range-planning what any good conspiracy relies upon?

League of Shadows > The Hand.

Episode 13

24. Plot wholes.

When you think of all the story threads this series has to tie up in ONE episode, it truly boggles the mind.  There are, for example:

a. Danny's quest to defeat The Hand, or at least stall them until the Defenders series hits Netflix.

b. Danny's desire to rid the Rand Corporation of the Hand, which is, by the way, a job he hasn't really started yet.

c. Danny's identity crisis: is he "Danny Rand" or "Iron Fist?"  Does he belong in New York or K'un L'un?

d. Danny's attempt to overcome his ADHD.  Kidding about this one, but really, he has to be the most ADHD superhero ever.  He makes the Hulk look positively solemn.

e. Ward Meachum's quest to kill his father.

f. Joy Meachum's quest to not be such a clueless retard.

g. Their dad's quest to put them in control of the Rand Corporation, and to eliminate Danny from the picture.

h. The Hand's quest to coerce Danny into joining them.

i. The Hand's larger quest to... do whatever it is that they've been hinting at since the second season of Daredevil.

j. Jessica Henwick's quest to look smokin' hot in tight clothing.  (Actually I think we can check this one off the list)

k. Marvel's quest to create a martial arts superhero that doesn't remind you too much of Batman.  (Sorry, Moon Knight).

l. Probably a bunch of other stuff that I ought to care about, but don't. 

25. "Game over, man!  Game over!"

Come on, Danny.  Did it really take you that long to figure out who the bad guy really was?  It's been obvious for a while now.

26. Olivia Newton-John

Hogarth's quip about Danny being from Xanadu had me thinking.  What if Danny really was from Xanadu?  As in the Olivia-Newton John vehicle of the same name?  He'd be from this 70s version of the future, with lots of singing and dancing, and that would be both SUPER WEIRD and excellent at the same time.

27. "... corrupt your chi..." 

Wouldn't want to do that.  That would suck.

28. WTF? (2)

Who the hell carries a matchbook around?  What is it, 1980?

29. Davos pulls a Baron Mordo.

This was just a stupid idea.  But hey, he's also talking to Joy, who's not that quick on the uptake anyway.  How does he fail not to notice Madame Gao at the next table?

30. Hole plots. 

Let's see, shall we...

a. I don't know, did he?

b. Corporate purge FAIL.

c. No idea.

d. Not too hopeful.  Maybe he can score some meds in the Himalayas?

e. Done, and done.

f. She might even be more retarded than I thought.

g. Didn't work out for him.  Very sad.

h. Looks like maybe they forgot all about it.

i. Who knows?

j. As said above, we can check this off the list.

k. Sorry, Marvel.

The Final Verdict: Fairly disappointing, but slightly better than Luke Cage.

Get ready for The Defenders!  "Mid 2017" (sometime)!  It's gotta be better than Iron Fist, right?

Other Entries on the Marvel Netflix Shows:

Marvel, DC, and Live-Action TV
Marvel's Jessica Jones
Thoughts on Daredevil Season 2
Thoughts on Marvel's Luke Cage