Iron Fist: So far, not so good…

Netflix continued its Marvel Comics love-fest with the release of Iron Fist this week. If you’re not familiar with the comic book – and by all accounts, not many people are – then it tells the story of one Daniel Rand who was lost in the Himalayas following a plane crash. He’s raised by warrior monks and returns to New York some fifteen years later to reclaim his legacy. Yes, he’s a secret billionaire … with no shoes.

It’s a story as old as time, but with a nice modern twist, or so we thought. The early showings have been mercilessly panned by critics who reckon it’s nowhere near as good as Netflix’s other Marvel collaborations: Daredevil (brilliant), Jessica Jones (not so superhero-y, but still brilliant), and Luke Cage (gritty and brilliant). There have also been lots of complaints of ‘white-washing’: why is a Kung-Fu master being played by a white guy? What, you couldn’t you find a Chinese actor who knows his way around the martial arts? This particular complaint you can pretty much ignore. Iron Fist has been around since the seventies. He started off white; he’s always been white. If he wasn’t white I’m not sure how they make the whole thing work. No, the real complaints are about the show itself.

Now, I’ve only watched the first two episodes, and I usually like to give it at least another one before I decide whether or not it’s a dud. I haven’t done that in this case because its predecessors were pretty damn good from day one, so I kinda expected the same from Iron Fist. Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen so far, it’s not in the same league. Continue reading “Iron Fist: So far, not so good…”

Jessica Jones: Superheroes with soul.

Netflix and Marvel’s Jessica Jones shows how these things should be done. Yes, it’s another superhero series, but this one is every bit as good as Daredevil, and what makes it good is what’s been left out:


  • No one seems to have any super powers; well, nothing earth-shattering anyway. You won’t find anyone here who can knock down a building by breathing on it. Jessica gets by on modicum of super-strength, and seems to be powered by vodka and very little else. She’s a private detective by day, and like all good gumshoes, she drinks to forget.
  • There are no city-levelling fight scenes.
  • No hi-tech armour, no mystical hammers and no indestructible shields.
  • No Scarlett Johanssen, but I’ll get over it.

What it does have is an easy slow-burning plot and a rather seedy feel that comes across as a sort of film noir shot in a slum. The script is deadpan, not overdone, with a hint of dark humour. They’re not trying to send a message or save the world; none of the heroes and villains here give a hoot about anything or anyone.  It’s surprisingly heavy on the sex scenes, and the director hasn’t pulled any punches in any of the fight sequences – and there aren’t that many of those.

I didn’t make it through the first episode of Supergirl; I’ve watched four episodes of Jessica Jones, back to back, and when I’m done here I’m going back for more. Great stuff.

Eight out of ten.