It looks like Marvel’s latest Netflix series, Iron Fist, is bad. I mean, really, really, bad. According to critics, not only does this series break the seemingly invincible record of the Marvel Cinematic Universe of bringing us consistently good experiences, Iron Fist is one of the worst shows ever. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the show has a “Fresh” rating of 17% and an average rating of 4 out of 10 approval rating from critics. That’s bad. To put it into perspective, the last live-action Transformers film, Age of Extinction, has a “Fresh” rating of 18% and a roughly 4 of 10 approval rating according to Rotten Tomatoes!
I myself haven’t seen the entire Netflix series yet. I’m only up to episode 5 because… life happens. I was actually hesitant to even continue finishing the series because of how terrible the review scores the show has received. But then I read a couple of the negative reviews which made me reconsider. After reading several of these bad reviews Iron Fist got, I came to the conclusion that the reviewers were being kind of unfair to Iron Fist for a couple of reasons.
A lot of the heat Iron First is getting from reviewers is the man who plays Danny Rand aka Iron First himself, Finn Jones. I will admit, Finn Jones seems kind of miscast for the role of Danny Rand, the orphan billionaire who is raised in a mystical land in Asia and trains to be a living weapon and the latest in the long line of Iron Fist martial artist. He just doesn’t have the charm to pull off the vibe of a naive and bumbling yet lovable man-child that the character seems that he should have had. From the five episodes I’ve seen, it also looks like he doesn’t have the martial arts chops to feel like an actual Living Weapon. Yes, Finn Jones just doesn’t seem like the right fit for the role of Iron Fist… but not because he’s a Caucasian male.
I’ve seen a couple of critics lambaste Netflix’s Iron First for casting a white guy in the role of Danny Rand.They claim it’s another instance of Hollywood “whitewashing” despite Danny Rand actually being a white guy! Yes, the character was created during the time when the classic “white guy being a savior to another race” trope and the period where cultural appropriation and exploitation was rampant. So some reviewers are aghast that Netflix and Marvel didn’t fix the character of Iron Fist and do some kind of “reverse whitewashing” and make Danny Rand an Asian male.
Finn Jones may be terrible in the role but, honestly, I think the critics who gave Iron Fist a bad review because of casting Finn Jones, a while male, in the role isn’t right. If you’re going to critique Finn Jones as Iron Fist, critique his performance. Say that he’s miscast, not because Iron Fist should be an Asian dude, but because his acting is terrible.
You may have noticed how deliberate my wording is so far and how I keep on repeating that I haven’t seen the entire Iron Fist series yet. I actually want to do a review of the show but I’m holding off from doing so because I think it would be unfair to give my opinion on a show that’s meant to be binge watched without seeing all of the episodes. Unfortunately, most of the reviews I’ve read did the exact opposite: they gave their verdict on Iron Fist from watching just a few episodes.
To be fair, most reviewers are upfront about it. They usually state how many episodes in they are before giving their thoughts and impressions on Iron Fist. Also, most critics actually only got the first six episodes from Netflix before sending out their reviews for all to see. To me, this is actually terrible and, on some level, incredibly irresponsible because these reviewers did not get the entire experience before telling people how bad it was.
Think of it this way: would you trust a movie review if the critic admits to only watching the first half of the film? As an example, let’s say that the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho was just released and critics just reviewed the film but only watched up to just before the infamous shower scene? Would you trust the review, regardless of the score it was given? Of course not!
Yet this exact thing happened for Iron Fist. Almost all the reviews I’ve read are just based on the first six episodes and not the entire thing. In their mad rush to be one of the earliest reviews of Iron Fist and get the most views, they didn’t bother to get the full experience. The sad thing is that I don’t think any of the reviewers that did this actually bothered to update their scores after seeing all 13 episodes of the Netflix series.They should at least do that.
If I were to review Iron First based on the few episodes I’ve seen so far, I would say the show is pretty bad and boring. But those are just my thoughts on the show based on a small portion of the entire series. I actually faced this dilemma before when 300: Rise of an Empire came out here in the Philippines. I planned it out so I could watch it on the first day so I could write up an early review. But, after seeing how the Philippine censors cut out one small scene because of simulated sex, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It would be unfair to do so because I need to see the entire thing before telling people if the film was good or bad throughout. Maybe I will review Netflix’s Iron Fist in the future once I do watch all 13 episodes. But not until then.
Based on these two reasons, I truly think most of the negative reviews should be inconsequential and disregarded. But the Rotten Tomatoes website doesn’t know it, so the score will stay. Hopefully, when I finish Netflix’s Iron Fist, I can be one of the few people to give it a positive review. I’m not particularly hopeful because those 5 episodes I’ve seen were a tough slog. But I will be man enough to reserve judgement on the show until I do see all 13 episodes and not a minute sooner.
Do you think the reviews Iron Fist received are fair? Let me know in the comments section below!