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New Netflix Release Doesn’t Live Up: Iron Fist

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Netflix has been upping the game when it comes to quality, superhero television ever since the release of “Daredevil” in 2015. Since then “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage” and even “Daredevil” season two, to a lesser extent, brought fans gripping entertainment far surpassing main network programming. But the recent show “Iron Fist” failed to live up to the expectations of its predecessors. In fact it failed as a show in general.
Well, first, as Vox writer Alex Abod-Santos points out, “The most consistently disappointing and distracting Iron Fist element is its flat, repetitive writing.”
It’s hard to deal with cringe-worthy dialogue on its own, especially the two dimensional, generic way in which Iron Fist handles every situation, as if the audience needs a verbatim explanation of every conflict. But with such memorable monologues as we’ve seen, most notably, from villains Wilson Fisk in “Daredevil” and Cottonmouth in “Luke Cage,” the staged, awkwardness of the show’s every line makes the audience uncomfortable in their seats, and not in a, “These moral situations are really trying,” sort of way either.
In fact, as far as complex characters and moral dilemmas go, “Iron Fist” is dearly lacking.  
“None of the flat, by-the-numbers characters makes any lasting impression,” says, accurately, writer Maureen Ryan from Variety.
You know something is wrong with a show when instead of rooting for the main character you cheer for a drunken warrior to kick said main character’s butt, or even a side character made out to be a bully from episode one and a straight up bad guy (Madam Gao).
Danny Rand has one of the most generic origin stories to date, but instead of putting a modern twist to the rich-orphan-come-superhero trope the show rehashes the same old, same old in arguably a more dry, repetitive fashion than TV has seen in a long time.
Not only is Rand unlikable as a character, and completely lacking in development, but any other potentially exciting character falls flat due to the veritable drought of quality writing.
Instead of adding depth to the plot though, through social or political conflict like “Luke Cage” addressed so nicely, having a black protagonist being on the run from the police and all, “Iron Fist” cast a white male in the role so many fans were hoping would be filled by an Asian-American man.
The potential for depth in the character could have been staggering if cast differently, but we were fed the same washed up story, whose conflict lacked a certain degree of realness and whose villains didn’t elicit the same moral conflict as before.
To top everything off, the action in this show is polarizing in the sense that a true action fan sits mutely through poorly choreographed, poorly filmed action scene, after action scene in shock.
As Sophie Gilbert from the Atlantic writes, “There’s a problem … when it’s more entertaining to watch Danny strapped down on a gurney in the psych ward than it is to see him dispatch ninjas, special powers or no.”
“Daredevil” had beautiful single shot action that added a sort of flow one could find in old Jackie Chan movies. So would it be so hard to expect a similar action style from a show based around a man who trained with monks in the Himalayan Mountains? Apparently, yes.
The action is stale and disengaging, probably helped by the fact that there isn’t a strong central conflict that really grips the viewer and makes one want to root for the good guy in the battle.
All in all, “Iron Fist” failed to deliver on story, character, dialogue, and action. It was stark from day one and “bridging the gap” between this and “The Defenders” series hardly seems worth the 13 hours.

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New Netflix Release Doesn’t Live Up: Iron Fist