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The biggest story relating to Iron Fist in the week leading up to its release was, unfortunately, the wave of mostly negative reviews from the critics who were able to see it prior to release. Sadly, I was not one of those (not that I ever expect to be), so I didn’t get a chance to watch for myself until everyone else did. Well, Iron Fist was just released on Friday, and so far I have watched my way through the first six episodes. This will be a non-spoiler review, mostly focusing on the question of quality as well as the series’ suitability for all viewers.
As to the second question, there is (thus far) no sexual content and very little foul language. There is some graphic violence, but not close to on par with such Marvel Netflix offerings as Daredevil (certainly not the Punisher moments in season 2!). However, that doesn’t necessarily make the series suitable for all viewers. The mature content in this series takes a much different form. In the first place, one character suffers from a substance abuse problem—which is actually handled quite well. However, this may not be appropriate for everyone. In the second place, a character is unwillingly confined to a mental institution for close to an entire episode, and the conditions at the institution are presented very explicitly (patients trying to kill the character, medication forced on the character without consent). All of that could certainly be triggering for someone with negative experience with mental institutions.
As to the first question, the answer is a little more complicated. While the negative reviews are warranted, the series does not deserve so much hate. The first half of the season may not be better than what came before, but it is at least on par with the back half of Daredevil season 2. Though Danny lacks any sort of motivation for his return to New York, his character does continue to interest me. Though I see a degree of confusion in a couple characters’ actions through the first half of the season, that confusion actually helps make them more conflicted, which makes them interesting. The special effects and fight choreography are both really good, though there is one crucial moment in a major fight where the effect kind of falls apart in a way that pulls me out of the moment. I can certainly see how other reviewers would be unimpressed with Iron Fist, but it works (for the most part) for me.
So would I recommend Iron Fist to you? Yes, absolutely. I don’t think it’s the best Marvel Netflix show out there, but it’s still really good and a lot of fun. Plus, if you are excited for The Defenders, Iron Fist is shaping up to have much the same relationship to The Defenders as Thor had to The Avengers.
I will post the second half of this non-spoiler review once I finish the series, which should be this week some time. If you have seen the series already, what did you think of it (no spoilers)? Let me know in the comments!