Following on from 2017’s The Defenders, Danny Rand (Finn Jones), the Iron Fist, continues the fight to defend New York alongside his allies, Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey) and Misty Knight (Simone Missick). Yet when his old friend Davos (Sacha Dhawan) returns, Danny must confront his former associate and prevent Davos from threatening his city. This year’s Marvel Netflix shows have been consistently strong, and while season 2 of Iron Fist never reaches the bar set by Daredevil or Jessica Jones, it does prove to be a fair improvement upon the lacklustre first outing.
Danny Rand was the least interesting hero among the Defender’s line-up, and sadly this is still the case here. He’s the most boring person in a show in which he’s the main character. This isn’t necessarily an issue with Finn Jones’ acting. The writers just don’t seem to know what to do with him, leading to uninteresting scenes and cringy dialogue that even other characters point out. Every time a scene focused on Danny comes up, it feels like the clock is counting down until we can get back to someone else. Luckily, however, the writers seem to be aware of this weakness, and they make up for it with strong supporting characters. This is especially true for Colleen and Misty, their believable and fun friendship makes their scenes without Danny highly satisfying to watch. A ‘buddy-cop’ spin-off featuring this duo would be an exciting concept.
The villains opposite the Iron Fist are a mixed bag. On the one hand, Mary Walker (Alice Eve) gives a performance that is chilling yet subtle, as well as suggesting some intrigue going forward. Davos (Sacha Dhawan), however, is never menacing. Instead he just comes across as a petulant man-child, a ‘Kylo Ren’-esque figure who you can never quite take seriously because every scene involves him whining about something.
A major criticism of the first season was the shoddy fight scenes, with wooden choreography that wasn’t up to the standard of other superhero shows. Season 2 is much better, and action sequences this time around prove to be well-edited and thrilling to watch. In fact, a general improvement in pacing is readily noticeable. The creators elected to have this season be only 10 episodes rather than the usual 13, and it was a good move. The show (for the most part) manages to avoid the mid-season bloating issues that has plagued even the best Marvel Netflix series.
The second season of Iron Fist demonstrates that the show’s creators are aware of the problems of the first, and delivers a much-needed step up in quality which makes the series enjoyable, if not incredible. Despite issues with an uninteresting lead, an uneven set of villains and weak dialogue, better pacing and fluidity in action scenes combines with a strong supporting character base to provide an entertaining and respectable entry into the Marvel Netflix canon.
Image Credit: Movie DB.