Marvel’s Iron Fist, starring Finn Jones has stirred quite a controversy among critics. Apparently, some comic fans were not happy with the results of this Marvel and Netflix venture. The Netflix series has been racking up some nasty reviews, but is the criticism warranted?
First, Finn Jones’ Iron Fist isn’t the typical superhero.
Finn Jones doesn’t portray the typical superhero, and there are no campy holdovers from previous movie portrayals or from the comics. The Finn Jones portrayal avoids a lot of typical superhero pitfalls because it is a fresh perspective, designed to avoid the stereotypes.
Marvel’s Iron Fist is more about The Hand than about a superhero, according to Vox, and that much is true. It is also about The Meachum family and Rand Corporation. It doesn’t feel like a superhero movie, and Finn Jones really doesn’t seem like a Superhero, but that may be a good thing, at least for some viewers.
“Iron Fist feels more like a setup for the Hand than a show about a superhero. What makes Iron Fist feel like a conceptual failure is that it’s simply a piece of Marvel’s grand plan to assemble its Netflix shows into The Defenders series, rather than a show intended to showcase its hero.”
Finn Jones is aware of the comic book fans, and their disappointment with his more than slightly understated hero, as Finn Jones told The New York Post.
“The comic book crowd are very intense. But I don’t let that pressure change the way I perform the character — I don’t get swallowed up by it because it’s a lot.”
Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix, on a far brighter note, doesn’t seem like a stereotypical Superhero series in that it is not a cliche. It would have vast appeal to a wider audience. Iron Fist as portrayed by Finn Jones feels like an unlikely superhero, while a lot of other things are going on in the series that keep Finn’s character feeling very human.
Marvel’s Iron Fist, with Finn Jones, seems quite realistic, and Finn’s powers don’t seem like they are overplayed. One doesn’t get the feeling the hero is some indestructible being. Finn Jones portrays a very human hero.
Second, Marvel’s Iron Fist, starring Finn Jones, is a perpetual cliffhanger.
Finn Jones’ Iron Fist is original, unpredictable and much more of a perpetual cliffhanger than if it were based on a frame for frame, replication of the comic book. It is hard to predict who is the real villain. Which characters are to be trusted and in what way?
In Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix, The Hand, the Meachum clan, and the supporting cast all feel like villains at times, but they all have their heroic moments as well, which is far more realistic of human beings than the usual oversimplifications of comic book heroes and villains.
Marvel fans remember Iron Fist from comics that started in the 1970’s. For those expecting a regurgitation of the old story, the Netflix version with Finn Jones is a huge disappoint. However, viewed with an open mind, it is surprisingly interesting as a stand alone series.
Third, Marvel’s Iron Fist With Finn Jones feels current.
Finn Jones as Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix stands out from other comic book based stories, as contemporary in feel. It doesn’t have the feel of all those DC comic remakes of Batman or Superman. This city isn’t Gotham, and Rand Corporation isn’t anything like the Daily Planet.
Finn Jones starts fresh as Marvel’s Iron Fist. Marvel released the first issue of Iron Fist in 1974, but there are no holdovers from that era. There is nothing wrong with a historic approach or even an obvious sense of updating in the superhero genre, but it can get awkward. There is no feeling of that in Marvel’s Iron Fist.
Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix doesn’t feel like an update of an old story. There is a feel of sparkling newness, splendid and gleaming twenty-first-century architectural features. The technology doesn’t feel transplanted into the scenario. It fits seamlessly. Everything seems very realistic and plausible.
Fourth, Marvel’s Iron Fist With Finn Jones features good character development.
Marvel’s Iron Fist, allows a lot of sharp contrasts in the characters and showcases various ideologies without blatant stereotyping. The ancient martial arts groups, their practices, and their dark secrets are allowed to contrast unblinkingly with the Machiavellian capitalistic values common right now in 2017.
Finn Jones as The Iron Fist is totally believable in his role, not as some superhuman being, but as a real human being trying to capture esoteric mastery of another culture and mindset. Danny Rand struggles and Finn Jones can make an audience feel Rand’s struggles deeply.
The Meachum family seem to be either torn between greed and goodness or feigning goodness and all the while being nasty. It’s hard to tell which and that makes their characters actions especially hard to predict. Their loyalties are divided and discerning their motives at any given moment makes the series riveting.
Fifth, Marvel’s Iron Fist with Finn Jones has a bit of everything.
Marvel’s Iron Fist has action, but there is a lot more going on than martial arts. There is intrigue, drama, crime, mystery, and most of all the unpredictable nature of people. There are no clear villains though many of the characters do horrible things. It is clear that each one has their own motivations and no one is just inexplicably bad. They all believe in their causes and they all have moments of apparent goodness.
Finn Jones as Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix is taking a lot of criticism because while it is like a superhero story in some ways, it actually spends time on a lot of elements other comic books made into movies and series would have chosen to leave out.
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Marvel’s Iron Fist is getting trashed, though. Many critics do not like it. Techno Buffalo describes the boardroom drama as the “bored room,” in a very clever play on words, but not everyone is going to find the boardroom drama boring.
Finn Jones spends a fair amount of time on the boardroom conflicts, as Marvel’s Iron Fist cleverly provides contrast between one group of characters, the Meachum’s who value profit above all else, and those who are seeking a different kind of power through eastern philosophy.
Marvel’s Iron Fist with Finn Jones is very much worth watching, but only for those who can drop their expectations and watch it with an open mind and fresh eyes.
[Featured Image by Craig Barritt/Getty Images]