Lego Batman, Logan and Iron Fist

A good weekend of two movies in the cinema and a TV show that I was looking forward to. Let’s jump right in!

The Lego Batman Movie – Almost got me completely hooked, like The Lego Movie back in the day. The first 10 minutes were rapid fire fun, jokes and references. Then it seemed they decided they can’t keep the speed up. From beginning to the end, the animation is marvellous and the voice acting is superb. But it is missing the heart that completely unexpectedly pounded with warmth in the third act of the Lego Movie and made it deeper than I expected.

Maybe I am expecting too much and it was/is a kids movie and don’t get me wrong, it’s a good one at that. Be healthy, have abs, be friends. Mild spoiler incoming…

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I was waiting for that human layer that might lurk beneath Gotham and was expecting maybe Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson telling their kids how to get along or Adam West trying to explain the Batman lore to a Kindergarten. I think that would have given the movie another level, without that it felt a bit, for the lack of a better word, simple. 

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On to another favourite hero of mine: Logan a.k.a. Wolverine a.k.a. James Howlett. The universally beloved huge jacked man delivers by far the best solo Wolverine experience. I would have not seen such a big jump in quality coming from the same director of The Wolverine, which I found mediocre. Coming from that movie I didn’t expect too much and I feel this movie has been a bit over hyped.

I loved Hugh Jackman in all the X-movies. He is/was Wolverine, even though he is a tad to mild-mannered and too tall, but what does that matter now? Logan did not make me cry, whereas The Fountain (with Hugh and with critics again being wrong) and Arrival (critics okay for once) for example had me sobbing. I am the kind of person who gets watery eyes in Titanfall 2 when the Pilot of the Titan you eventually take over dies, so it didn’t tug my heartstrings, however the X in the end had me smiling and lovingly look back with tinted eyes.

Then something happened! I realized that all previous entries missed the swearing and violence, even though I saw a version that apparantly had 14 minutes cut (thanks Obama China). This felt fuller and right for the characters, more realistic and honest. Speaking of that, apparently people who swear tend to be more honest.

What happened is that once the rose-colored nostalgia wore off, I started to miss all this honesty, swearing and violence in the previous movies that we finally got thanks to Deadpool. So all in all it was a great movie, but it is not one of the best comic book movies ever made, at least not in my book.

Can’t wait to see the new pick for Wolverine and personally I’d suggest this guy. Seems shorter, is buff enough, young and I can easily picture him in mutton chops. However seeing that he will be in the Inhumans TV-show and Marvel’s all is connected mantra we have yet to see an actor playing different roles within the MCU. Your move Iwan!

Now to the ‘worst Defender’!?! Iron Fist… (Rotten Tomatoes say it all: critics 15% and audience 84%)

I don’t know where to start. Should they have casted an Asian actor? Maybe. Is it the savior character people are tired off? Maybe. Is it a bad show and a waste of time? No.

6 episodes in, as much as the ‘critics’ got before, I really dig it. It’s better than Luke Cage (critics!), by a mile for me. I got a bit of Arrow vibes in the beginning but that slowly faded with the miles better acting, especially by the Meachums and Colleen Wing. The fighting is somehow not as polished as on Daredevil and the first fight had me giggle a bit, but Danny is holding back, is inexperienced (not in fighting but in the ‘real world’) and I am sure he doesn’t want to hurt people severaly due to his beliefs. Almost everything people critique about Finn Jones (wiener not featured in the show but on Game of Thrones) acting can be explained with the plot and the ‘soft’ martial arts he uses. I belive they are meant to look relaxed and he has yet to find himself in the real world. I for one, like the childlike attitude of Danny.

Netflix show rating by me: Daredevil Season 1 > Jessica Jones > Daredevil Season 2 > Iron Fist > Luke Cage.

Someone explained the misconceptions about the titular hero better than me:

Rey0208 via Screenrant Comment in this article:

“If you wish to see the truth, hold no opinion.”

-Zen Saying

This show was burdened with expectations and perceptions that were not aligned with what the creators were trying to do.

You complain that it spent too much time on the “sordid family drama

of the Meachums” or the “corporate shenanigans of Rand Enterprises”, but

 we knew from the beginning that they were going to be big parts of the

show. The trailers and casting news were very clear. The Meachums were

the first characters to be cast. And the first trailer was about Danny

coming back home to claim his inheritence. If you didn’t want to see

that, that was your fault for ignoring the trailers and casting news.

You also complain that Danny Rand is a terrible hero. He “takes

action despite having no plan,” is the “least likeable protagonist and

least convincing superhero,” and is a “pale copy of other billionaire

superheroes,” because he “wanted to be Danny Rand, New York

billionaire,… and K’un-Lun paid the price.” If this is why you didn’t

like him, then you misunderstood the character.  In interview after interview,

Danny Rand has been described as having the mind of a child. Madame Gao

even tells him so. And why wouldn’t he be? He was orphaned at 10 years old

and lived a cruel and brutal life for 15 years. Of course he’s going to maladjusted!

But his flaws are what makes him interesting. And if you can’t see that, then

you don’t truly understand the character. You’re just upset that you

didn’t get to see another hero that fits into the cliched billionaire

superhero stereotype. If anything, this show did something tremendously

different. He’s a flawed hero. It’s original and compelling.

Aside from these uninformed expectations, critics also had misperceptions.

They were upset that Iron Fist doesn’t advocate a social justice

issue like JJ, LC, and DD season 1. But DD season 2 didn’t advocate a

social justice issue, even though some people stretched and said it was

commenting on gun control. But, c’mon! It’s the Punisher! If anything,

DD season 2 was a commentary on veterans. And you could stretch Iron

Fist just as much as say it was commenting on drug addiction, mental

health, homelessness, or corporate responsibility and business ethics.

But why do any of these shows have to advocate for a social justice

issue to be good? It’s a superhero TV show! What are Flash, Arrow, or

A.o.S. advocating?

They were also upset about “white-washing” or the “White Savior

Complex”. But, (1) Danny Rand is white in the comics. And (2) He’s not a

 White Savior. If anything, he’s a derelict. And, again, Madame Gao even

 tells him so. But the same critics crying about White Savior were also

the same ones praising Doctor Strange. And that’s hypocrisy! Because

Doctor Strange is an actual White Savior. White guy shows up at an

exotic place, becomes better than everyone else at what they do, and

single-handedly saves all of them from a threat they should have been

prepared to defend against themselves. But nobody ever points that out!

So why is Iron Fist taking the heat? The White Savior criticism is

unfair and hypocritical, and profoundly misunderstands Danny Rand’s

character arc.

So next time you say something about this show, at least try to keep

in mind what the creators were trying to do — tell a story about a

flawed and reluctant child-like character, while staying faithful to the

 source material and not being burdened with a social cause.

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