TV Review: Iron Fist S1E1 Snow Gives Way

After being declared dead 15 years earlier, Danny Rand returns to New York. But his welcome is a far cry from what he’d hoped.

Going into watching this first episode of Marvel and Netflix‘s latest series Iron Fist, you can’t help but think about the rabid negative reviews that permeated the internet just a week or so back. And while the first episode didn’t quite hook me, it’s also not the disaster depicted.

Finn Jones in the title role feels more like he’s channeling Danny Masterson’s Hyde from That 70s Show than the Danny Rand the classic Marvel character. But, what Jones does well is that his Rand is chill and zen, something you’d expect from a martial arts master of his sort, not quite a stoner like Hyde, though you could easily see him being so.

We’re also introduced to Joy Meachum (played by Jessica Stroup) and Ward Meachum (played by Tom Pelphrey) who have taken over Danny’s family’s business believing them all to be dead. Pelphrey as Ward feels like every slick businessman in a Marvel live-action adaptation. All that he’s missing is the signature bad guy three-piece suit. Both of their acting is flat and a bit bland, matching Jones’ in many ways.

The highlight of this first episode is Colleen Wing (played by Jessica Henwick). The character’s brief screen time shows off a little sass and strength and compared to the other three main actors, she feels much more natural through it all.

We’re also thrown into some of the twists and turns of the series and we quickly learn someone we thought was dead isn’t and folks are sent to attack Danny weaving a conspiracy. But in that conspiracy reveal, we’re given horrible writing where a villain (spoiler the not so dead Harold Meachum played by David Wenham) literally says the plot questions out loud that will be answered throughout the series like “where has Danny been,” “how’d he learn martial arts,” “are his parents alive,” and “why is he back.”

Beyond the blah writing and acting, there’s a strange lack of attention to detail as a backpack Danny carries disappears and reappears in the first episode with little to no explanation as to where it went.

The first episode of the series isn’t bad, it’s also just not good. There’s some potential in the series, it’s just that it’s B-movie level of quality and generally boring, predictable and bland. Maybe it’s due to the other Marvel Netflix series delivering such an energetic punch in their first episode this series feels like it’s taken on too much of a zen philosophy.

Overall Rating: 6.0

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