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SUPER LATE REVIEW: Marvel’s The Defenders

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for a review and this is a review I should have done at the end of August. But it’s been chilling in my draft section for ages so I thought I’d finally finish it. I am of course talking about¬†Marvel’s The Defenders. Now this was a show I was eagerly anticipating for ages up until Iron Fist came out and that brought down my hype by a considerable amount (review available here). But with some solid trailers I was ready to love the show. But now the show’s been out since August and before I review The Punisher (which I’ve already seen but will give another watch), I wanted to share my thoughts on this show. So if you’re still interested in my thoughts on this show read on and find out. ūüôā

So the story can be described as the following: “Set a few months after the events of the¬†second season¬†of¬†Daredevil, and a month after the events of the¬†first season¬†of¬†Iron Fist, the vigilantes¬†Daredevil,¬†Jessica Jones,¬†Luke Cage, and¬†Iron Fist¬†team up in¬†New York City¬†to fight a common enemy:¬†the Hand.”

The Defenders primarily furthers the plot and characters of the Daredevil and Iron Fist shows, however you don’t have to have seen the previous shows in order to understand whats going on here as it is a self-contained like The Avengers, that being said watching the previous shows helps you care about the characters and the significance of the stakes involved. The story starts off a big slow re-establishing the characters and storylines from the previous shows, but by the latter half of episode 3 things really pick up and start to become fun and from there you feel like you’re getting the show you were promised with fun crossover character interactions and cool fight scenes. There’s also some good action, drama, mystery and revelations. However, by the time the show ends, I feel like things could have played out in a far more captivating manner. The plot takes time to set up certain elements that will have pay off later on, the only issue is that once everything is laid out on the table it feels rather lacklustre and unsurprising.

Episode highlights include:

  • The H Word
  • Worst Behavior
  • Royal Dragon
  • Take Shelter

When it comes to the cast, I think they did their best considering the material they were given and some actors/actresses were good while others didn’t fare as well. The Defenders themselves were quite good.¬†Charlie Cox as¬†Matt Murdock/Daredevil was one of the most effective characters besides Jessica Jones. He probably had most character development and it was cool to see how he evolved from the end of DD season 2 to this show and see how he interacted with the team.¬†Krysten Ritter as¬†Jessica Jones was great, all of her wonderfully bad and good character traits were on display, she didn’t like to play with others and was very rude, but did do some investing and showed up when it counted.¬†Mike Colter as Luke Cage was good, still the strong and smooth dude from his own show, he was good though I wasn’t keen on what they did with him and Claire’s relationship.¬†Finn Jones as¬†Danny Rand/Iron Fist was weird, it was almost like they did a bit of a course correction for the character as he comes across smarter and more confident not only in his personality but his fighting skills too. Alas, it doesn’t take long for the character to fall back into his childish and foolish ways, he’s such a weak link it is painful. The Defenders have the same sort of group dynamic that makes team formations so much fun to watch like the Avengers of Guardians of the Galaxy, they have that different personalities and ideologies and seeing them but heads and team up was great especially with Matt and Jessica.¬†Oh and¬†Elodie Yung as¬†Elektra, part of me likes her, but at the same time considering how her character was handled it was just messy, a tad confusing and annoying.

Sigourney Weaver as¬†Alexandra Reid has some moments of interest but ultimately adds up to a forgettable/boring villain. She makes a lot of sinister speeches but rarely does anything that directly impacts the heroes and the way her story arc concludes is one I not only saw coming but also felt like a slap in the face to anyone who had invested time her character. As for¬†Scott Glenn as¬†Stick, e was one of the best parts of Daredevil, but here he was less compelling and a little more annoying, just talking about how bad the enemy was.¬†Rosario Dawson as¬†Claire Temple is still the same likeable character from before, she’s good. Jessica Henwick as¬†Colleen Wing was good too, she had some decent action scenes, nice interactions with some other characters and some story stuff that carried over from Iron Fist. Simone Missick as¬†Misty Knight was cool, sassy and proactive and while she wasn’t always on the right side of the heroes, she had some solid moments in the show, though I wish she was utilized a little better. Seeing Elden Henson as¬†Foggy Nelson, Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse,¬†Rachael Taylor¬†as¬†Trish Walker and¬†Deborah Ann Woll¬†as¬†Karen Page¬†was nice as they brought a nice bit of flavour from their respective shows

As for the presentation, it was good for the most part. Visually the show was solid. One of the things the show did well was the action, I feel like the fight choreographers brought back the flair and intensity that was sorely lacking from not only Iron Fist but also Luke Cage and Jessica Jones to a degree as well.The fight scenes here were faster, better in choreography, sometimes reaching that Daredevil quality. Alas, the action isn’t always consistently good with some fight scenes looking unrealistic, slow and silly, and it also doesn’t help that some of the sequences are shot and edited in a strange way to be stylised when in fact they’re less interesting than they should be.¬†As for the soundtrack by¬†John Paesano, it was good. I think it was a smart choice to bring him back considering the solid work he brought to Daredevil. In this show, Paesano brings a more bombastic, intense and dramatic sound that I think the show needed especially when it comes to the opening theme. There were points where it felt a little overly dramatic but for the most part, it was really nice.

In conclusion season 1 of Marvel’s The Defenders¬†is a decent show that has some great moments but didn’t live up to its potential. I really did enjoy the character crossover not only from the main heroes but also the secondary cast, and when the action, dialogue and soundtrack were on-point it was a fun show to watch. However, this team up series didn’t give me the compelling story that I wanted, there were some bad decisions made with the use of the villains and Iron Fist, the action scenes weren’t consistently good and there was a lack of payoff/satisfaction that I felt once the show was over. The Defenders wasn’t terrible and was easily the best material Marvel and Netflix have done since the first half of Luke Cage, but as it stands, Marvel and Netflix are really gonna have to step up their game if they want to keep the fans coming back for more.

So have you seen Marvel’s The Defenders¬†and is so what do you think of it? Did it live up to your expectations or were you disappointed? Also, how would you compare it to Daredevil, Jessica Jones,¬†Luke Cage and Iron Fist? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters. ūüôā

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Posted by on December 5, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 1 Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for another one of those big reviews that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, I am talking about the final Netflix show before Defenders comes out later on this year, I am of course talking about Marvel’s Iron Fist season 1. Now this show’s had one hell of an interesting ride before and during its release with early episodes getting pretty negative press from critics and then having fans slamming critics for their opinions because they think the show’s great. Either way my hype for Iron Fist super high, but the early reviews did make me worry. However, I finished the show yesterday, I’ve had some time to think about it and I’m ready to share my thoughts.

So what’s the story for this show? It can be described as the following: “Danny Rand returns to New York City after being missing for years, trying to reconnect with his past and his family legacy. He fights against the criminal element corrupting his world around him with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.”

Okay, so Iron Fist’s story. The words that immediately come to mind especially for the first half of the series would be dull, frustrating, repetitious, contrived and convenient. Those are words I never expected to associate with this show. Now none of the previous Marvel Netflix shows have been able to fully escape moments of bordem or tedious material, but show has them from the beginning. Unlike previous shows where I was on board within three episodes, this show took until episode six for me to start to get into it which was crazy. On paper this story sound like all sorts of fun and with Danny’s backstory and how it ties into what’s happening in New York with the criminals running around, it should be captivating, and yet we spend too much time on small/unimportant things, take too much time on plotlines that spread over several episodes instead of one or two or set or mention certain things that have no pay off (like the mysticism and backstory with K’un-Lun). I think it the script that does the most damage to this show with dialogue and scenarios that felt unoriginal, weird and silly. The show felt incredibly slow and it honestly felt like a chore to get through, sometimes I stopped completely paying attention to mess with my phone or play some video games. By the time the show ended I was curious as to why things unfolded in the way in which they did and if the writers had shortened, changed or simplified the story from what we had gotten, the show would have benefited from it immensely. That being said, there’s still some redeeming qualities in the story, mythology and characters especially from episode six onwards, while not consistently good there’s still elements to appreciate.

Episode highlights include:

  • Immortal Emerges from Cave
  • Felling Tree with Roots
  • Black Tiger Steals Heart
  • Dragon Plays with Fire

When it comes to the cast, I think they did their best considering the material they were given and some actors/actresses were good while other didn’t fare as well. Firstly there’s Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist, here’s the thing, I like Jones as an actor and I thought he did the best that he could, that being said I didn’t like Danny Rand that much. He was a well-meaning guy with some cool martial arts talents and a sense of justice, but my god he was such an annoying, naive and frustrating person to follow. I understand the he’s endured a lot with the loss of his parents and the years he spent in K’un-Lun isolated away from the normal world, but he came across as a very childish, irrational and illogical individual. Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing fared a heck of a lot better, she had an interesting personality, code of conduct and her initial story and character moments felt far more engaging than Danny. Unfortunately because of the writing I felt like she ended up doing a few things that made her less engaging to watch but otherwise she was solid.

Tom Pelphrey and Jessica Stroup as Ward and Joy Meachum really fluctuated in terms of how much I liked them. At first they were both incredibly dull, surface level characters with no interesting qualities and I wondered why they took up so much screen time besides the fact that they were tied to Danny’s childhood. It wasn’t until later when Ward’s story started to get interesting and I was curious to see where his character went and Joy, well I liked her, but she seemed to change her motivations and moral code a few too many times for me to like her on a long-term basis. David Wenham as Harold Meachum was a lot of fun at times, but then other times he was a little generic and plain, Wenham committed to his material hundred percent and I thought he did well in his role. Ram√≥n Rodr√≠guez was really effective as Bakuto, he had a very cool and intimidating presence, and seeing the return of Wai Ching Ho as Gao was great though not utilised to her fullest. Sacha Dhawan as Davos was awesome, he was a stern, aggressive and badass warrior who stole a lot of shine from Danny and was one of my favourite parts of the show. And finally Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, man I love this girl. While her integration in this show wasn’t as natural as the previous shows, she did have some of the best charisma, humour and logic of all of the characters, at this point she needs her own show or at least a more meaty role going ahead.

As for the presentation, well, it was significantly less impressive than I had hoped. Like the previous Marvel Netflix shows it is shot well for the most part and the style and presentation of New York is lovely. What was a little hit or miss was the action scenes, anyone who has read this blog knows that I LOVE me some well choreographed martial arts and considering who Iron Fist is and his comic book source material I was expecting something on another level. However, what we got at best was some interesting and fun fight sequences that borrowed from some classic and more recent films, but then were times when the fights looked okay to really dull lacking a sense of urgency, style, flair, impact and speed that was really required for characters so closely associated with martial arts. As for the soundtrack by Trevor Morris wasn’t all that impressive, unlike previous Marvel shows (especially Luke Cage) the score has no presence or does little to elevate what’s happening on-screen. The most memorable piece of music is the opening theme and that’s all because it reminds me of “The Game Has Changed” from Tron Legacy.

In conclusion season 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist is a disappointment. The show is not complete garbage as a lot of critics have made it out to be and there is some fun to be had once you get into the latter half of the season, but as it stands, I feel like the bad outweigh the good with a lot of issues relating to the dialogue, pacing, characters and most importantly the martial arts. It isn’t fun, there’s no real sense of personality or flair and compared to the comics and the shows that preceded it, it should have been much better. If you love the show, more power to you, but I can only recommend this show if you’re curious or a completest of MCU material.

So have you seen season 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist and is so what do you think of it? And how would you compare it to Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. ūüôā

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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