TL;DR – A good first episode that has me quietly optimistic for the rest of the season.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The first season of Iron Fist was … well, it was a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. You can read all about in our past review (see here), but the TL;DR, and we are all about the TL;DR here, is that every part of the production felt rushed. It was clear to anyone watching that Finn Jones had not enough time to prep the action sequences which were the hooks that the show was using to propel everything forward. Were there moments when the season got interesting? Yes, but not enough to really recommend it. Well since then we have had The Defenders (see review) which was a step in the right direction, and Finn popped up in Luke Cage and was actually engaging for a change. All of this had me hoping that they had learnt their lessons and would take their time with pre-production this time around, and from the first episode, I think they have.
So to set the scene, after The Defenders and the fallout from Season One, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) has stepped away from the family business, and now lives in a modest apartment with Colleen (Jessica Henwick). Danny still goes out at night as the Iron Fist trying to do good, and in the opening we see him take down a group of robbers that killed three security guards in an armoured van. Colleen has put up her sword after what happened in the past and now works in a local centre helping people with immigration applications and doing good in the neighbourhood. However, there is trouble brewing on the horizon, after defeating The Hand and what happened in Luke Cage there have been huge power vacuums created across New York City, and the different gangs are rushing in to fill them which can only lead to war. Oh and the past is not looking like it will stay in the past.
Right off the bat, everyone in the show feels much more comfortable in their roles than they have in the past. The dialogue does not feel stilted even if it is still a little cheesy. As well as this, it is clear that they have worked with Finn Jones with the fight choreography, one of the big issues from Season One. While there are still using a stunt double, they have gotten much better at shooting the action sequences and making sure he looks confident in the close-ups, even having a couple of extended sequences in long-ish shot form. With the action sequences, the highlight has to be Colleen putting the beat down on some thugs trying to collect protection money from a restaurant. Everything flows that little bit better and we have thankfully lost a lot of the stiffness of Season One. Though we could have done without that really awkward sex scene.
For any opening episode, it has two jobs, the first thing is to catch us up on where all the characters are in the world and then set up an idea of where the season will go. In this, I think the first episode does a really great job. We quickly get to see where the five returning main cast finds themselves and get a quick refresher on all their motivations. We also then get the main push of the season with the machinations of Joy (Jessica Stroup) and Davos (Sacha Dhawan) which is interesting but we’ll see. As well as this, there is an almost blink and you’ll miss it introduction of Alice Eve’s character which is more intriguing.
In the end, do we recommend Iron Fist Season Two? Well from the first episode it looks like they have learnt from past mistakes, and it was a solid episode of moving things into place. Now can they take this progress and continue it all season, that I don’t know. But I do like that they only have 10 episodes down from the normal 13 as there is usually about three episodes of padding each season.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Iron Fist
Directed by – David Dobkin
Written by – M. Raven Metzner
Based On – Comics by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane
Created by – Scott Buck
Starring – Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup, Sacha Dhawan & Alice Eve