The much anticipated fourth show from Marvel and Netflix has arrived in the form of Iron Fist. After much controversy around its casting decisions and early negative critical reviews, Iron Fist is doing great among fans.
Iron Fist follows Danny Rand (Finn Jones, Game of Thrones), a young man who clearly stands out among the concrete, urban environment that is Manhattan, New York. He’s got on scruffy and worn out clothes, and his feet are bare. Yet, he seems to be familiar with the skyscraper that is the headquarters of Rand Enterprises, a very large technological corporation.
Danny is met with immediate hostility by the Rand Enterprises private security and the owners Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey, Banshee) and his sister Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup, The Following). This is the crux of the whole episode: Danny wants to know the answers to why his plane crashed in the Himalayas with his parents on board, when he was a child. Clearly, there is something else going on behind the scenes, given the Meachum’s response and Danny’s constant inquiries.
Along the way, Danny meets martial arts instructor Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick, Game of Thrones). Like the main plot, there definitely seems to be more going on with her beneath the surface. Danny himself displays abilities, senses and zen wisdom that seem to go beyond the average person living in New York City.
The pacing of the episode some might find a bit slow for a show promising a martial arts focus. There are certainly some action sequences, but most of this episode is exposition based to set up the rest of the season. The previous Marvel/Netflix shows of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage were very similar in this way.
Over all, this was still an engaging foundation for the rest of the season. Already, it seems like they are going to explore themes of cross-cultural interactions and exchanges, such as that of the Asian martial arts taught to a rich white guy from Wall Street. If done right, perhaps it could put to rest some of the controversy surrounding Iron Fist.
The character of Iron Fist was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in 1974, who were inspired by kung fu movies that were popular during that time period.