Nothing lasts forever. That’s what Marvel fans might be saying next week when they start binging the fourth Netflix series from Marvel Studios, Iron Fist. The early reviews are coming in for the new series, and let’s just say that they could be better. “Predictable”, “hammy”, and “skippable” are all words that you might be reading if you Google “Iron Fist reviews”, which given the way that the tremendous trifecta of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage turned out, is probably not something you want to read for the last series going into The Defenders. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to wince.
Posted below are five capsule reviews from highly reputably sites. The message they send is not great if you happen to be one of those people that’s looking forward to seeing Iron Fist for the first time on screen in live-action. To put it the best way possible, Iron Fist looks to be the worst of Marvel’s Netflix offerings so far, but to put it in a more terrible light, it’s a “spaced-out retelling of Batman Begins.” Ouch. Of course, this doesn’t just reflect badly on Iron Fist, but Iron Fist showrunner Scott Buck, who has since moved on the Inhumans series. So what are we to think? Well, you can start below…
The Hollywood Reporter: “The partnership between Marvel and Netflix was due for a dud. This isn’t to say that Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have been shows without flaws… Each show, though, has had virtues of tone and aspiration that made it feel like a complicated superhero TV code had been cracked. [Iron Fist] feels like a step backward on every level, a major disappointment that already suffers from storytelling issues through the first six episodes made available to critics and would probably be mercifully skippable in its entirety if it weren’t the bridge into the long awaited Defenders crossover series.”
Variety: “Quite a few dramas in the streaming arena have pacing problems, and even Netflix’s better Marvel programs have displayed an affinity for contrived, time-killing subplots. But “Iron Fist” is the most frustrating and ferociously boring example of Netflix Drift in some time. Not one element of this plodding piece works. The action scenes lack spark, snap, and originality. None of the flat, by-the-numbers characters makes any lasting impression. And as origin stories go, the tale of Danny Rand (Finn Jones), at least as rendered by this creative team, is about as exciting as a slice of Velveeta cheese left out in the sun too long.”
Collider: “Despite a very good cast and a great origin story, Iron Fist is predictable, a little hammy, and has no real sense of how to tell a cohesive story. As such, it has a few moments that are great and many that are not. The show takes a few of its early episodes to consider whether or not the protagonist might be crazy, or if he really does have powers and is who he says.”
IGN: “…high-rise approach does set Iron Fist apart from the other, grittier and more urban Marvel-Netflix series, [but] it also lends the show a sterile look and feel. Again, it’s all very prime time soap opera-ish. The latter of these first six episodes eventually brings in more comic book-y and fun elements, but Iron Fist is thus far the weakest of the Marvel-Netflix series.”
ScreenCrush: “As a lead-in to The Defenders, the hope was that Iron Fist could lean into its more mystical elements, but the end result feels much closer to a spaced-out retelling of Batman Begins, minus the fact that Jones’ Danny Rand lacks any of the self-awareness or purpose of Bruce Wayne, and, frankly, comes across as a petulant brat most of the time. Without Alfred to ground him, and no urgent mission to focus the early episodes, we wind up with three shows worth of Danny wandering into people’s personal space, presumptuously expecting their embrace, and attempting to reclaim a corporate majority shareholder position that – by his own admission! – he has no idea what to do with. Danny Rand is Marvel’s Dumb, Idiot Man-Child Batman.”
Iron First will be ready to streamed for the masses on March 17.