Punch with the Iron Fist
Here I am, thinking of how I want to go into this, and I realize I am a bit remiss. See, I didn’t talk about the last in the series (this will change). But I talked about the others. But as I move into this reflection I realize the last one I probably talked about was a complete opposite reaction to this one. And in both cases, my reaction is like the polar opposite of others.
See, I am pretty sure I wrote about Netflix’s rendition of Daredevil in the past (loved it). And I know I mentioned the horror show (in a bad way) that is their version of Jessica Jones. I didn’t talk about Luke Cage (loved it by golly I need to watch it again so I can wax rhapsodic about it). Which leaves me with the latest Marvel adaptation from Netflix.
In a nutshell, I think their rendition of Iron Fist is probably my favorite out of all of them. This is a complete contrast to what many critics have said about the story. And I don’t care.
I feel like much of the bad press the first season of the show received clouded the views of others coming into it. The negative vibe is something hard to recover from. For me, I don’t really pay attention to reviews and we don’t have regular television so anything that might have lambasted it didn’t jump out at me.
I have a couple YouTube reviewers that I tend to watch on occasion and they don’t always share the same view on anything. I like to have the contrast to gauge where I might be with the story. But for the most part I like to judge a story on its own, without bias, without all the extraneous crap that others try to push within its framework.
With all that said, I loved it. The fight scenes were reminiscent of the first season of Daredevil. They weren’t smooth, they weren’t delicately choreographed. Instead there was a realism to them that made sense. I mean seriously, if you come into this show looking for a Hollywood fight scene, you’re going to be disappointed. In reality it doesn’t matter how good you are, fights are chaotic and dirty and people get hurt.
Mind you, this has been a contention I have had with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and pretty much any Hollywood super hero movie. They treat the characters as pretty much indestructible. It’s a trait that has existed in action movies for ages now. You may not remember it (because it was one of his least memorable movies) but there was a Schwarzenegger movie years ago titled Last Action Hero. One of my favorite parts of that movie came from the way they called attention to this. Hell, they used it as a plot device in a meta way (you gotta love the cheese).
Where was I…
I could sit here all day and go over all the crap that people call out in this movie. But the reality is, it’s just crap. People see what they want to see in a story, doesn’t mean they’re right, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The thing is, we are going to come away from the experience with our own views.
There was a moment when I might have walked away from this. I’m not going to lie and tell you it is all sunshine and roses. The first few episodes felt a little slow to me. I’ve heard this from a few others as well. It was when I realized what was going on that they hooked me and I couldn’t let go.
The mark of a good story is when we feel the pain of the character. I don’t mean in the simple empathetic way, but really connect. And in the first few episodes there is a frustration within the character of Danny Rand. It actually carries further into the story. But it is most poignant in those first few episodes where he is trying to reconnect to his life outside the monastery. It worms its way into your mind.
Once you get through that part of it, things move faster. While at the same time taking their own pace. It’s almost like a feeling of being caught in the eye of a storm. Which also fits perfectly with Danny Rand. He is trying to come to terms with his life as the Iron Fist but also the life he lost in the plane crash that took his parents.
And I sit here, staring at my screen…
See, I am still emotionally invested in this story. It’s been a couple days since I finished that last episode and there are thoughts and ideas flowing through my mind about what happened. And so, I am stuck to talk about it because it is something you should experience for yourself.
There is just this flow to the story where I am seeing now a metaphor buried within a metaphor, where everything ties together in this elaborate way. And it’s really just so simple. I feel like I have been hit with a Zen Koan. And the meditation comes from looking within the substance of the story to find a meaning you didn’t first see. Which of course, is the world that Danny Rand had to fight his way through.
So now that I have made this weird, maybe we should spend some time with the show. See who you agree with maybe. I know where I stand. But then, I am a bit of a weirdo that likes the gritty super hero stories.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.