As someone who enjoyed and binge watched all the Marvel Netflix Series (yes, that includes Iron Fist), I was super excited for the release of the Defenders. I could not wait to see all of the characters come together and fight in what I suspected would be an Avengers-lite type collaboration. It took me a while to finally watch all of it, but I did and here is my review:
Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Matt Murdock aka Daredevil and Danny Rand aka Iron Fist realise that the same shady organisation (The Hand) is terrorizing the people of their respective New York communities. In an attempt to take them down for good, the heroes team up and so begins the epic battle for New York.
The thing I liked the most about this series was watching all the heroes come together, interact with one another and fight the Hand as a team. I feel like as a group, the characters all gelled. I liked watching the little brother and older siblings relationship between Danny Rand (Finn Jones) and the rest of the Defenders, for example the Chinese restaurant scene was one of my favourites of the series. Furthermore, I liked watching Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) trade quips back and forth. However, my favourite relationship within the team was Jessica Jones and Luke Cage because their chemistry was ridiculous. I really want to see how the clear chemistry between them will play out in the future, especially with Claire (Rosario Dawson) on the scene. In addition, the group fight scenes were fun to watch as you each character had their moment to shine, even though they were co-operating with the others.
Furthermore, Élodie Yung as Elektra was one of the best things about Daredevil Season 2, so I was expecting a lot from both the actress and the character in the Defenders. And neither the actress nor the character disappointed me. Elektra’s fight scenes were some of the most satisfying scenes of the show. They were always so well choreographed and performed! Furthermore, watching Elektra tackle both the good and bad inside of her made for good viewing as it meant that the character could (and did) always surprise you with her actions throughout the series.
Moreover, this series fleshed out the Hand as a powerful and insidious organisation. In other series, they have just seemed like this unseen evil force that provided countless fodder for the heroes to defeat per episode with the exception of some ‘big bads’. However, in this series, they are given a backstory, leaders and a motive that make them seem like more of a threat than they have been previously.
One of the things that I did not like about this series was that one scene where Luke Cage lectures Danny Rand on white privilege.
Bare with me guys, I will explain my reasons why in due course !!
As a Black British female and human on this Earth, I understand why white privilege needs to be called out and addressed more openly and more often. In fact, I have no problem with Luke Cage making a speech like that in the programme because it is important and needed to be said, especially given the current situation the US finds itself in now. However, in my opinion, I feel like the Luke Cage’s speech did not 100% apply to Danny Rand and as a result, seemed like it was added because for social points. Yet, this is not me saying that Danny Rand does not benefit from white privilege because he is still a young, rich, white man at the end of the day, who practically owns huge swathes of the city. But I do think it is necessary to look at his backstory.
So, yes, Danny Rand was born into a rich white family with a sizable inheritance. However, let’s not forget that he watched his family die in a plane crash and then was saved by monks who took him to a place that he could not actually leave for x amount of years. Whilst in K’un L’un, he was essentially abused through extremely tough training to become the Immortal Iron Fist whose sole purpose is to defeat the Hand.
Knowing this, I do not think that Luke Cage’s speech applies to the specifics of Danny’s case. Also, he did find these guys dissolving bodies, so there’s that…
What I think Luke Cage’s speech should have addressed more explicitly was Danny’s manchild like behaviour that could, at times, be a real problem for me and could be linked to his white privilege. For in my opinion, what makes Danny think that he could walk into Midland Circle, demand that they stop their evils deeds and actually have them do it? He’s been a businessman for all of 10 minutes!!
This brings me on to one of the things that bugged me the most about the series. Danny Rand’s ‘manchild-like’ tendencies. I do not see how Danny Rand would have gone through all this training to become the Iron Fist, yet behave like a manchild. Surely, his training would have meant that Danny Rand would have matured quickly in an environment like that? Like I understand that he lost his family at a young age and is looking for people to help fill that void within him but seriously, some of the things he did in the series were childish and made no sense whatsoever. Honestly, I believe that Finn Jones does his best with material that does not always work in his favour.
Furthermore, I do have some reservations over the Hand’s plan for New York as I cannot see how what they were doing would have completely destroyed New York. They built up the Hand’s final plan to be a cataclysmic event that would completely destroy the city. However, when the final episode came and the Hand got what they wanted I could not help but feel a little underwhelmed.
Lastly, I do not see how Luke Cage and Jessica Jones were able to keep up with Matt, Danny and their ninja enemies. True, their abilities are great and they are, without question, powerful people, however, I feel like the skill of their opponents should have counted for something, no?
Overall Comments & Rating
Overall, I really enjoyed the Defenders! It was fun to watch and a solid addition to the Marvel Netflix Universe.
Rating : 4/5 Stars
So what did you think of the Defenders? Tell me in the comments! 🙂
Featured image taken from deadline.com