This review is spoiler free.
It’s the superhero team-up show we have been waiting for. Move over Avengers, the Defenders are in town!
We’ve been waiting for this moment for a while now, and in short, the Defenders does not disappoint. It is everything you could have wanted, and more. Yes, it does have a slow start and there are one or two little plot points to be picked at. But ultimately these little things are buried under so much brilliance you get over them very easily.
All roads have led to this point, and that is reflected in an overall well-worked story. As you progress through the show, even small details put in place in the different shows all come together to create many ‘bigger picture’ sub-stories. It was clearly well thought out, and you can trace that all the way back to Daredevil season one. A good, solid story was helped with a well-paced series and it never felt like the show stagnated or was treading water.
The overall tone of the Marvel/Netflix shows has always been very similar, but with their own unique differences. And it’s that underlying heartbeat of these shows that is the main aesthetic of the show. Even when factoring in all of the solo show’s unique character and style traits, they all blended seamlessly into a well-worked show.
So what about the fighting? Because let’s face it, that was always going to be a big part of this series. As we have come to expect from the Marvel/Netflix shows, they did not disappoint with the choreography. The slick fighting of Daredevil and Iron Fist was perfectly blended with the sheer power and force of Cage and Jones. Danny’s fights were greatly improved, and hopefully, this has been a lesson learned for season two of Iron Fist. Basically, fewer cuts, please.
There is no denying the popularity of the Daredevil series. If you ask most people which their favourite show is, a high number will say Daredevil, and rightfully so. In the Defenders, we get the Matt Murdock we all know and love. Forever battling his internal conflicts, but always willing to protect the city and the people he loves. A very strong performance from Charlie Cox as always and it just makes you crave for Season 3 of Daredevil.
As with her solo series, Krysten Ritter was brilliant. She was engaging, snarky and took no BS. Her fight scenes have never been about super slick choreography, but brute power and force. And there were many examples of this sprinkled throughout the series. Jessica Jones is the queen of attitude filled dialogue, and her interactions with Murdock and Cage were especially exceptional. There were so many wonderful combinations of characters that worked really well throughout the season. It was all executed perfectly.
Luke Cage had some very impactful moments, though always felt like the fourth member and was a little underused. But with that being said, when he was given things to do Mike Colter shined as bright as his yellow t-shirt. The thing with all of these characters was that they all seemed to retain their solo show feel. And that was something that could have gone very wrong, but it didn’t. There was a natural rapport to the ensemble which really helped put over the team aspects of the show.
So, let’s talk about Danny Rand AKA Iron Fist. There was a lot of issues with his solo show. It was rushed and that was evident in the final product. But there was also a lot of good. Picking on Iron Fist is easy, but most never comment on the things the show got right. In the Defenders, Danny is given a lot more time to shine. His fight choreography is better and his overall character personality is vastly improved. Though his “I am the immortal Iron Fist” line did get very repetitive. That aside, this should hopefully spark some more enthusiasm for Iron Fist season 2. We also really need our ‘Heroes for Hire’ crossover. Netflix, you know what to do.
All the supporting cast members of the various shows were all well used, and they handled their limited supporting roles well. With such a large cast to juggle, there was always the danger that it could get a little messy. Instead, we got a nice balance and their presence in the show was natural and never felt forced or shoehorned into the story.
A big mention has to go out to Sigourney Weaver though. As with Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, she had a captivating complexity to her character. Weaver was an outstanding choice for the series’ main villain and she did not disappoint. She was ruthless, unrelenting and yet behind all of this there was a fragility. Kudos Defenders for such a well-written character and a stunning performance.
This is undoubtedly one of the strongest Marvel and Netflix shows. It had some truly outstanding moments, real big moments of television that will be hard to match. It has also helped lift the profile of some of the characters, Cage and Rand especially. This show has done everything it needed to. It has given us an exciting and entertaining series, as well as advancing the future of the other shows. It was a truly engaging story filled with wonderful character performances.
The Defenders was a truly outstanding TV series. After the first two low-key episodes, the show finds its feet. It was packed full of exciting storylines and wonderful character performances. Plenty of care and attention was made for all of the individual shows, adding greater value to all of the shows.