CAST: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Elodie Yung
The Defenders is the ultimate TV superhero team-up produced by Netflix and a grand coming together of New York’s finest such as Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) and the Iron Fist (Finn Jones). Each character has already been properly introduced to us having already received a TV show, thus going into this there is a level of familiarity with the characters. What brings together the team is a criminal organization known as the hand, led by Alexandria Reid (Sigourney Weaver), the organization has existed for decades and the group’s main purpose is to gain immortality.
For those unfamiliar with the characters, the first episode gets you up to speed with each of them, Danny (Finn Jones) is continuing his search for answers about the hand with his trusted ally Colleen (Jessica Henwick). Mathew (Charlie Cox) has retired as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen following the events of Daredevil Season 2 and is now working his regular job as a lawyer, while Jessica Jones is investigating a case for a client as the head of Alias Investigations.Elsewhere, Luke Cage has completed his prison sentence and is once again roaming the streets of Harlem. This episode is a real drag for those already invested in the characters if you’ve already seen the other shows skipping the first episode might not be a bad idea.
But Things really kick into gear in Episode 3, we get the scene we have all been waiting for when our main characters assemble and battle it out at the Midland Circle. The fight choreography for the Iron Fist has been massively improved, this was a major problem in season 1 of Iron Fist. I did like the set up for the team’s first meet, it was well handled.
Episode 4 and 5 delves deeper into the Hand, it becomes clear that the organization’s leaders were banished from their home in K’un-lan and to help them accomplish their goals they use their last remaining resources on reviving Elektra (Elodie Yung) in order to use her as a weapon.
This is where the cracks in the show begin to appear. We have seen menacing and sophisticated villains thus far from the previous shows, e.g. ‘Wilson Fisk’ (Vincent D’onoforio) ‘Kilgrave’ (David Tennant) and ‘The Punisher’ (Jon Bernthal). However, in this show, I did feel the Hand was far from sinister and honestly quite bland. This is based on the fact that there was rarely a sense of high stakes, and how dull the members of the organization are. Or maybe because the villains in the other Netflix shows kept the story grounded.
In addition, the Hand’s plans heavily rely on Finn Jones (Danny), who is less than convincing as the Iron fist. Unfortunately, he is still one of the weak points in this show, most of the time he is completely oblivious to what is happening and “Oh My” some of his line delivery. The rest of the characters do not struggle on this front, none of them steal the show but they do a good job. Since the supporting characters do not have much to do, they are kept in one place throughout the series and conveniently called upon when the plot requires them.
With a bit more focus on the script and more work on the villains, the series could have been improved. However, there is still enough in this to entertain and worth bingeing on when you’re free.
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