REVIEW: 'Iron Fist' Season 2
Better than last time doesn't mean great.
Iron Fist Season 2 is an improvement on Season 1, but that doesn't mean it's very good. The differences in tone between the seasons is welcome because it mixes things up and doesn't feel rehashed like other follow up seasons have for MCU Netflix shows. Danny Rand might be the weakest link but Colleen Wing also has corny lines and their dialogue together borders on atrocious. Finn Jones doesn't deserve all the blame. The highlight of the season is the villain, Davos, who essentially is an unlikeable Punisher. Iron Fist Season 1 improved with the last few episodes and Danny Rand character was far less annoying in Defenders those improvements are built upon in Season 2.
Iron Fist Season 2 is watchable, definitely if you're a completist and you watch all the MCU Marvel shows and films. And it's better than the season that preceded it, but it's still in the lower half of what Netflix and the MCU has to offer. The fight scenes are just as corny but at least it's not as obvious this time around when they need to use stunt doubles. The action has improved but situationally the fight scenes are only a step above Adam West Batman campiness. That might be on purpose if they are trying to recreate the feel of classic kung fu films, but I did find myself rolling my eyes at some fight sequences.
One of the highlights of the second season is that the tone is so different from the first season. Season 1 had us in high rise office buildings and focused on Rand Corp where Season 2 focuses on family but the dark side of the relationships between each of the Meachum siblings with one another and with Danny Rand. In the aftermath of Season 1 each character is steeped in either revenge or penance. The soul-searching works for the characters even if the dialogue isn't always written or delivered well.
The dialogue is weak throughout the show. Both seasons suffer from either poor performances or poor writing when the conversations turn to the personal. I noticed it more in this season since it was more character driven with the cast mostly brooding about what has happened to them. It hurt the show that the worst dialogue happens between the stars, Jessica Henwick and Finn Jones. There's never really any chemistry between the actors and it's never believable that they are together, so much so that when they agree to end their romantic relationship in order to have a teacher/student relationship (something by itself that made no sense) it carries no gravity for the plot or the characters' development. You internally shrug at the apparent break up.
The villain of the season, Davos is the stand out character. Davos' misguided sense of justice captured well by actor Sacha Dhawan. The relationship between Davos and Danny Rand adds a layer to hero/villain relationship that is not unlike Stick and Daredevil's but more brotherly than father/son. Also, Stick is never the main antagonist to Daredevil.
Davos' drive and morality is closest to the Punisher. Being tough on crime to point of killing gangsters and other criminals is their calling card. Punisher is someone who we root for even if we don't agree with his methods, yet Davos was an easy mark for being an antagonist and very unlikeable. Davos killed criminals but with smugness and Frank Castle was doing his duty, getting his revenge and dealing with the darkness inside of himself.
Davos is just an asshole. An asshole that made for a great villain and saved the season.
Season 2 was better than Season 1, that's what Iron Fist's second effort has going for it. The lore will continue and we get to see a different version of the Iron Fist in the third season (I assume we're getting a third season) where the Daughters of the Dragon better be the focus or comic book twitter will have a shit fit.