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. 🙂
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. 🙂