- In its second season, “Iron Fist” is still the worst Marvel Netflix show.
- The show’s dialogue is cringe-worthy, the plot is boring, and the main protagonist lacks charm or personality.
- The fight sequences are impressive, but don’t save the show.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for “Iron Fist” season 2.
The first season of “Iron Fist” was met with terrible reviews and scored a dreadful 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, easily the worst of the Marvel Netflix shows that also include “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “The Defenders,” and “The Punisher.”
The second season, which premiered Friday on Netflix, tries to correct some of the problems critics had with the show the first time around with a new showrunner, Raven Metzner, and fewer episodes. The first season had 13, while the second has 10.
But despite some impressive fight choreography, “Iron Fist” is still a boring mess in its second season, with awful dialogue and a main protagonist with zero charisma. Halfway through the season, I saw no reason to continue. Since the first season was so bad, the second needed to swiftly capture my attention. Instead, I was coasting through each episode, wishing for them to be shorter than they were.
The season finds Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist (Finn Jones), tasked by Daredevil to protect New York City. The crime organisation known as the Hand has been wiped out, but that’s left a power vacancy for control and a war is brewing between those who wish to fill it.
The main problem with “Iron Fist” is that its lead is so stone cold. Jones (also of “Game of Thrones”) has the unenviable task of bringing to life a character little known outside of the comic book community. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which the Netflix Marvel shows are loosely connected to, managed to do it with a number of characters on the big screen. These street-level characters – Iron Fist, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones – should benefit from the television format, but Iron Fist just can’t seem to find the sweet spot.
While their big-screen counterparts in the MCU bring distinct personalities to their roles, it’s hard to find any sort of personality in Jones’ portrayal of Rand – unless you count cluelessness as a personality. Rand might be the most oblivious superhero of all time.
One of the main storylines involves a mysterious woman named Mary, played by Alice Eve, spying on Rand for Joy (Jessica Stroup) and Davos (Sacha Dhawan). Rand doesn’t suspect her at all, even though he has only met this woman a few times, he knows nothing about her, and she’s given off some serious bad vibes.
But it doesn’t help that the show seems to be written by a college student who still thinks it’s cool to fall back on cliche stereotypes about men and women, and some of the dialogue is too cringe-worthy to believe.
A perfect example: When Ward (Tom Pelphrey), who may be even less likeable than Rand, suggests having dinner with Joy and Davos, Rand says he has to ask his girlfriend Colleen (Jessica Henwick) first. Ward makes a whipping noise as if anyone above the age of 20 still does that, to which Danny replies, “Hey man, don’t be a d—” with a huge grin on his face like they’re a couple of college roommates.
Speaking of Colleen, in the first episode, the script makes her say to Rand: “How about one last heroic mission before we get some shut eye?” Spoiler: She’s talking about sex. Who talks like that?
It’s these instances and more that make the show agonizing to watch, and the monotony of it all just makes it worse. The show features some engaging fight sequences, but they don’t convince me the show deserved a second chance.
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