‘Defenders’ TV Review Roundup: Marvel Mashup May Disappoint Superhero Fans
The latest Netflix show from Marvel has arrived with so-so reviews. Defenders which teams up superheroes Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist in an eight-episode series. The reviews mirror those of the individual Netflix shows for each hero – meaning all is great except for the Danny Rand/Iron Fist character.
In the show, the four pair up to fight a ninja organization led by a mysterious NYC magnate named Alexandra, played by Sigourney Weaver. The organization, called the Hand, comes from the Iron Fist storyline, which may disappoint some fans, who clearly favor the other three individual shows.
Some critics also took issue with the fact that the show focuses so hard on each character getting equal screen time, that it hurt the overall feel of the show. They also had to mix together four unique characters, moods, and tones into one show, which the makers actually did a decent job of.
DEFENDERS REVIEW ROUNDUP
“Fans of the solo shows will also feel a frisson of excitement when the quartet first become acquainted with one another – Luke Cage and Iron Fist literally collide – and there’s plenty of meta-humour folded into Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez’s script. “I tried being a one-man army and I failed,” says Iron Fist, nodding perhaps to his standalone series being slammed by critics. Ultimately, though, the plot lacks the oomph of Daredevil and the wry savviness of Jessica Jones – and those without a prior knowledge of the characters may find it all slightly opaque. It wasn’t quite worth the wait.”
–Patrick Smith, The Telegraph
“It takes a while for things to get going. A long while. Defenders is an egregious offender in this regard. Minor spoiler alert: The team doesn’t truly come together until halfway through the season, which doesn’t leave as much time as you’d like for villain-bashing and heart-tugging sacrifice… There’s nothing terribly wrong with “Marvel’s The Defenders,” but there may not be enough right about it to make it worth the time of anyone but the completist. By the end of the year, there are set to be 11 live-action Marvel shows spread across five TV networks and streaming services. You can afford to be choosy.”
–Mike Hale, The New York Times
“Is The Defenders a good show? Not if you take “good” to mean that it’s well-written, or deftly plotted, or boasts particularly transcendent performances… But none of this matters when the four characters finally come together, in a fight sequence of such exuberance and energy that the whole universe seems to click into place. Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Finn Jones) have each appeared in their own series up to this point, to varying effect and critical reception. But together, they’re a riot. Both their heroic vulnerabilities and the franchise’s weaknesses are superseded by the collective and the joy of watching a super-sensed, ultra-strong, bulletproof, luminous fist-wielding foursome smash soulless corporate henchmen into smithereens.”
–Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic