THE HAND'S GRIP AINT TIGHT |THE DEFENDER'S REVIEW|
Well now, as always I expect great things from Marvel and Netflix collaborations but like most fans after the mess that was Iron Fist I was rather skeptical if they could pull off a good show with so many characters that the audience would have to keep track of. The two powerhouses did not disappoint thankfully and I found myself truly enjoying the Defenders, mostly because of the chemistry between the heroes and the buddy off partnerships we see unfold on screen.
For a story about four heroes coming together to protect a city they all have love for, this show will take you for bends and turns that you might not be prepared for, but there’s beauty in that. If you are looking for a decently paced show with a lot of super hero ass kicking that marvel loves to throw at us then you’re in for a treat as the Defenders have no problem delivering on this. Grab your cape or you know, don’t since no one here but Daredevil wears costumes, you know this is my review of the Defenders.
The Defender’s starts off with us catching up to Colleen and Danny trying to track down the Hand when suddenly a random woman goes out of her way to destroy their closest lead. On the other side of the map Luke Cage is finally being released from jail after serving his time and is met by none other than Foggy, a friend of Daredevil’s, that is now part of the Hogarth law firm. In the meantime and in between time Jessica is drunk at a bar and quickly meets up with Trish to discuss her hatred for the “H” word while people on the street look to her for problems that need hero solving. One client in particular was desperate to find her husband due to his disappearance but Jessica didn’t want to take it on, at first.
After Luke and Claire are reunited, Misty soon reconnects with Luke to explain a volatile situation that is coming to a head in Harlem’s under belly involving young men taking on secret work that seems to be getting them killed quickly. Unbeknownst to the both of them, this new criminal work was attached to Jessica’s findings of C-4 in an apartment after she looked into the lead of the missing husband not long after a severe earth quake erupted in New York City.
Jessica called in the tip to Misty’s department and before long Luke decides to start looking into the criminal known only as the White Hat. While all this is brewing the viewers get a look at the biggest threat to the area, Alexandra. With an agenda all her own to help tighten the Hand’s grip on the world, she has increased the speed of her plan with the help of Madame Gao. Even though Alexandra is moving in a rather clean manner, Jessica while looking into more leads on the case of the missing husband, was able to notice a trend in the style of handwriting over several years with the intent of transferring money into different names and accounts.
After Luke catches up with the White Hat’s metaphorical tracks, he runs into Iron Fist and has one hell of a battle after Danny attempts to beat the snot out of a young man who Luke’s mother befriended. During this time, Misty was able to arrest Jessica after her run in with a ridiculously strong woman who quickly eviscerates the husband she’s been following leads on. In the police precinct of course Jessica is unwilling to help and is quickly rescued by Matt Murdock. After informing her they cant keep her, Jessica, in true Jessica fashion, attempts to dip out.
Claire soon finds out that Luke and Danny had a pretty crappy run in and sets up a meeting for the two to discuss the fact that they are on the same side. Luke isn’t buying much of Danny’s mystical bullshit and calls him privileged. DUN DUN DUN! Danny didn’t take it too well but soon started to realize maybe Luke had a point. In a twist of fate all four of our favorite defenders on the same day around the same time all decide to go to Midland Financial.
There’s nothing but ass kickery flying across your screen for a decent amount of time until the group is able to break away to a nearby Asian restaurant. After a lot of time is wasted by each character in their own quirky way, Elektra suddenly appears at the restaurant and goes absolutely ape shit until Daredevil calls her by her true name. The group soon realizes after so many attacks and protecting their loved ones that Danny, the Iron Fist, is the true prize to the hand. They over power him and tie him away but once again an attack by Elektra leaves them empty handed and unfortunately kills the OG, Stick.
After completing her mission, Elektra kills Alexandra and takes over the Hand without much resistance. The group soon fights Gao again, and the other members of the Hand again basically doing one giant repeat of every series put out so far playing on their weaknesses of character individually. After so much fighting suddenly the building blows up in the middle of New York City and that’s pretty much the end of the series
The biggest strength in the show is probably the chemistry between the characters/actors. I really enjoyed seeing specifically Matt and Jessica create a bond. The igaf and the sensitive character in a friendship always makes for some of the best character development when written correctly and we could see that between these two. Even the dialogue between Luke and Danny made Iron Fist an actually tolerable character. The four together literally feel like a family and I wouldn’t change that dynamic between that at all.
It was also nice to see a new villain introduced even though it was short lived. I think Alexandra was a great addition to the cast and came off as a total bad ass even though we didn’t see her do much of anything, which we’ll talk about in the weaknesses category.
The constant tie ins of each superhero’s universe was definitely a treat. I was super excited to see Misty make an appearance specifically, but it was also great to see the return of Foggy, Hogarth, and others. Tying the universe in a neat bow is a strength of Marvel and never feels forced or pushed just because they want them to align and should be appreciated.
Honestly the ending is pretty lack luster. It feels like we’ve seen these fight scenes before because in a way we have. I would’ve appreciated a more creative ending to the series versus fighting the same villains we just saw in Iron Fist and Daredevil again especially since one series ended not too long ago.
The Defenders completely get off with blowing up a building…in New York City? Not on your life! NYC has some of the most strict laws in the country and it’s hard to believe that even these great super heroes would get away totally free. I would’ve liked to see this explored or at least set up in a fashion that they would have to answer for the damages.
The series was short but still felt very drawn out. At times I found myself a little bored which is unusual. I wouldn’t have recommended shortening the series but at times the writing was rather lack luster and leaned on its visual for support.
Now, don’t get me wrong I was really excited for the happy marriage of Netflix and Marvel to bring us something amazing. With four heroes with their own universes coming together it can be difficult to keep things completely interesting the whole time while trying to cover a lot of information. The show however just didn’t grab me in the same fashion that it’s predecessors Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones did. I do think it’s entertaining and worth the watch but I don’t think it will maintain the focus of many people who watch it. I would give this a 6.5/10 overall. It’s a decent series but it’s not going to be Netflix & Marvel’s most memorable.