It's just weird to see critics trashing anything with the word "Marvel" attached to it. Usually Marvel is up there with Pixar as an automatic "A." But not "Marvel's Iron Fist."
Unlike the previous three Netflix series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Iron Fist" is being flattened. "Daredevil" currently has an 87 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "Jessica Jones" is at 93 percent. "Luke Cage" is at 96 percent. "Iron Fist" is joining them as the fourth Netflix/Marvel show leading up to "The Defenders" crossover miniseries ... and it's currently at 14 percent. (Its Metascore is currently at 33.)
There's still a week before the series debuts on March 17, so it's possible a heap of positive critiques will follow. And some fans may feel the opposite of critics, liking this show in a way they did not for previous Marvel titles. But still. This is a bad, and surprising, sign.
And the critics who didn't like it, really didn't like it. Entertainment Weekly gave "Iron Fist" a "D," destroying it in this opening paragraph:
"Marvel's Iron Fist isn't just the wimpiest punch ever thrown by the world's mightiest superhero factory. The new Netflix binge swings and misses so bad that it spins itself around and slaps itself silly with a weirdly flaccid hand. But even that might be generous. 'Swing and a miss' implies effort. Iron Fist — devoid of vision, lacking in executional chops — barely even tries. It assumes its own marvelousness and proceeds tediously from there, offering few satisfactions for any possible audience. The media was only given six of the season's 13 episodes for review, but I was snoozing after two and ready to check out after three. This is yellow belt drama that deserves to flunk out of the TV dojo."
Daaaaaaamn. They're not alone, though. Uproxx wrote, "It's easily the worst of the Netflix Marvel shows and an unfortunate illustration of the perils of miscasting." Variety complained, "It takes forever for anything to happen on Iron Fist, and as it stumbles along, the uninspired production design, unexceptional cinematography, and painful dialogue fail to distract the viewer from the overall lack of depth, detail, or momentum."
There are some defenders, though. In a "fresh" review, Collider wrote, "Iron Fist isn't terrible, and some of it is actually very good, but it should be so much better." Empire wrote, "Iron Fist works some fantastical flavour into the MCU's down-to-earth Defenders nook, but it needs more proper kung-fu flair than showrunner Buck allows."
There's still time for "Iron Fist" to pull a critical comeback, and the reviews may not matter anyway, since 92 percent of RT users said they want to watch the series. Fans have their own opinions, and these harsh critiques may just set low expectations, leaving viewers pleasantly surprised.
"Marvel's Iron Fist" arrives Friday, March 17 on Netflix.
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