By Dave B.
Very few people know this, but the first Season of Iron First is the show that initially put the idea into my head to write movie and television reviews. It was so bad that I didn’t want my friends and family exposed to it. That said, Season Two of Iron Fist was (understandably) released with little fanfare. In it Danny Rand (Finn Jones) finds that former friends have become implacable enemies determined to strip him of his powers. The first season of Iron Fist wasn’t really reviewable, mostly because it wasn’t good enough to be watchable. There was no need to say much about it besides, “everything about it is terrible; avoid at all costs”. Season Two is undoubtedly an improvement in the sense that it is definitely watchable. That, however, does NOT make it good.
I’ll give credit where credit is due: Iron Fist’s showrunners make several decisions that noticeably improve the quality of this series. First and foremost, they limit the amount of time that Rand (and therefore Jones) are onscreen. I’m not going to say that Jones is a bad actor. But Rand is a dull, annoying, shallow character and is clearly miscast. Limiting his time in front of viewers is absolutely the correct decision. Many of the episodes in the first half of the season still feel as if they well never end, but the other characters, especially Davos (Sacha Dhawan) and Joy (Jessica Stroup) are interesting enough for viewers to maintain some small interest in what will happen next.
Unfortunately, this season has many of the same problems that the previous one did, although these problems tend to be less egregious now. There are some things about Netflix’s Iron Fist franchise that are fundamentally stupid. For example, in a nation where there is at least one gun in circulation for every man, woman, and child in the population, it doesn’t make sense that Chinese Triads don’t use firearms. The reason for the omission of guns is obvious: the Iron Fist power is most effective at close range. But other Marvel characters who aren’t invulnerable frequently take on opponents who have guns, so why can’t Rand? The answer seems to be that it’s because he sucks. Examples of lazy writing abound. For example, one moment a doctor says that Rand is at death’s door. Three seconds later, after applying a couple of staples to close a seemingly small wound, the doctor says that he’ll be fine after resting for a day. The fight choreography is much improved from Season One, but it’s still laughable compared to what one can find in most halfway decent martial arts-based shows and movies nowadays.
So long as Rand is played by Jones, Iron Fist will not be good. But the showrunners demonstrate an ability to learn from their mistakes and at least attempt to make improvements. I’ll even go so far as to say that the very, very end of the season was mildly interesting. I’m even going to be looking forward to Season Three (to some extent), in the hope that the show will improve enough to be considered better than almost decent. However, I’m not recommending Season Two of Iron Fist. Too much of it is too boring, too lazily conceived and executed, and too ridiculous for me to do so. It’s better than Season One, yes, but it’s still not good enough.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.