Daz

Iron Fist, the newest entry in the fantastic Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), was universally panned by critics, with a Metacritic score of 37 and not a single positive critic review.

The show was fairly slow and at points predictable, but the same could be said for Luke Cage. One review I read complains that the protagonist, Danny Rand, says things like "If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions". It's almost as if he spent the last 15 years in a Buddhist monastery.

There are also a lot of complaints about a white character having culturally appropriated abilities, as though somehow martial arts can't be taught to white people. One review complains that he, as a white man, lectures an Asian woman on how to channel her internal force. But it's okay that a Hispanic character taught her in the first place. I understand that it's frustrating that there aren't any Asian heroes in the MCU, but panning a show for not having an Asian main character seems strange to me.

They also complain that Danny Rand is a boring character, using the name "Danny Bland". To a degree I can understand, but I also don't see how he's any less interesting than, say, Matt Murdock.

Now that I've complained about other reviews, I'll share some of my own thoughts for the show. As I've already mentioned, the show is somewhat slow and predictable, but a slow pace isn't strictly a bad thing. It meanders somewhat with arcs that don't really go anywhere. Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The story is in the journey and sometimes journeys have pointless detours. The slower pacing actually felt better to me than the last 3 seasons of Netflix shows which I felt all had an extreme lull in the third quarter.

The fights are generally well choreographed, the exception being one in a moving truck that was a little stupid.

Superficially there are a lot of similarities between Iron Fist and the first season of Arrow. A rich son of a business owner 'died' on holiday many years ago and returns, taking over the business. The composition of friends he returns to is the same; one female and one male with a father who has come back from the dead.

A very minor complaint; Both Daredevil and Jessica Jones had entire scenes where subtitles were required, yet when we go to China in Iron Fist for pretty much a single scene everybody, including a street beggar, speaks English ("I wasn't always a beggar" - Oh, that explains it). It felt a bit strange.

I do have another complaint about the show, but it's about the very final scene so I won't mention it. It's very, very similar to the very final scene in Doctor Strange (which I also took issue with).

In all, I enjoyed the show. It's far from the failure the critics seem to suggest. And while it will feel all too familiar if you've seen Arrow, it's still definitely worth watching. The critical reviews are pretty much just wrong.