“Iron Fist” Season 2 Trailer Still Can’t Give Us Good Kung Fu

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Netflix/Marvel)

A first teaser for “Iron Fist” season two has been released just in time for Comic-Con, and I have to say, the kung fu still really sucks.

The first season of “Iron Fist” has many problems, but one of the big ones is that the fight scenes are lackluster at best.

Perhaps it was a mistake to cast an actor as Iron Fist despite his complete lack of martial arts training. Maybe it also didn’t help that with season one, there was often only a few minutes in the schedule for the actors to learn their choreography before shooting.

Whatever the reason, the fact that Danny Rand is not actually shown as being good in a fight is a large part of why he’s so unpopular.

(He’s also whiny and annoying, but that’s beside the point.)

With the first glimpse at season two, the most important thing is to show us that the fighting has improved. If this show is to be the all-out martial arts extravaganza that Marvel wants it to be, they need to be able to prove that Danny Rand can at least now throw a decent punch.

Less Than Stellar

Alas, the new teaser lacks the finesse that audiences deserve. There’s a lot of shaky camerawork to disguise Finn Jones’ lack of experience. Plenty of quick cuts blend together different suggest that they had to shoot this over and over and over in order to hide the seems.

Even with all of this, it’s clear that Jones is simply swinging his arms like a drunken boxer. There is still no clear proof that Danny Rand actually knows and good kung fu.

I find this particularly frustrating because I love Iron Fist. His problematic White Savior origin story aside, he’s one of my favorite characters in Marvel comics canon. I know he can be more engaging and dynamic, and I really don’t feel like the Netflix show is doing him justice.

All the stops have been pulled out this time. Apparently Marvel TV got the fight choreographer from “Black Panther” to work on season two of this show to give it a little extra clout.

I’m really hoping that the full series is better than this short clip, but if this is the best that Netflix can give us in a trailer, I really worry for the quality of the show.

Marvel Can Do Better

A good martial arts movie uses fight scenes like a musical uses songs. They punctuate the story, further the plot, and give us an insight into the characters.

Casting Finn Jones in “Iron Fist” is therefore like making a tone-deaf actor the lead in a “Glee” style singing show. This is the most important draw for the series, so it needs someone who knows what they’re doing.

Maybe you think I’m being too hard on “Iron Fist”. Perhaps you suspect that the kind of quality I’m looking for just isn’t possible on a Netflix budget.

To you I offer up “Into the Badlands” as proof of what can be achieved when a martial arts TV show is done right. This series is fast-paced, action packed, and well choreographed. It’s not too much to expect a good show, made by talented actors who know what they’re doing.

I really hope “Iron Fist” season two is better than the first. I also hope it’s better than “The Defenders”. Marvel has been promising that Danny Rand will now act more like he does in his “Luke Cage” cameo episode, which at least means his behavior will be less annoying.

I just hope against hope that the Comic-Con trailer isn’t reflective of the action in “Iron Fist” season two.

I really want this to be good.