The Defenders: Marvel Still Trying to Make Another Daredevil

Leonardo Paley

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The first of Marvel and Netflix working together with Daredevil, a gritty, mature, bloody explosion of an adaptation of the Marvel character was an enormous success. Following this success, Marvel announced at least three more characters getting their own shows before finally joining together in The Defenders. The Defenders is a group of the four heroes, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, that unify to save New York from The Hand, the overarching villains of Daredevil and Iron Fist.

Unfortunately, after Daredevil, the shows never were quite as well constructed, well written, or well shot. Jessica Jones suffered from poor writing and an underwhelming finale, Daredevil season two wasn’t quite able to recapture the intense glory of the first season, Luke Cage started off strong but lost it’s steam a little after halfway through and Iron Fist… had a whole host of problems, let alone being a poor imitation of the first season of the CW’s Arrow.

Sadly, The Defenders follows the trend. There aren’t many good parts to talk about, as Marvel delivers yet another mediocre superhero show.

Trying to maintain the dark, gritty and often brutal atmosphere seen in Daredevil, the show’s tone continually clashes with the sardonicism of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, who often call to light the ridiculousness of the situations they find themselves in. Whereas shows like Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist saw less action and more talking, fortunately for The Defenders, there is a heavy return to action sequences, with most episodes boasting a large fight scene featuring the four person cast (particularly towards the end of the show), and many intense one on one duels a la those seen in Daredevil. Nevertheless, while the violence has been increased from previous shows, it is still not the most action packed season Marvel has to offer.

Despite their being a decent number of large fight scenes, there are several episodes focusing almost solely on the dynamics between the main characters, which is hardly the best part of the show. Often this results in feeling like unnecessary petty fighting and drama by the writers to keep the dynamic of the group seem alive to the audience.

The characters barely get along, resulting in the pacing and excitement of the show being halted by immature one-dimensional characters. Daredevil plays the cliche role of the post Nolan Batman-esque character; grim, in love with his city and trying not to get back into it. Jessica Jones is the same as she was in her show, with zero motivation put into her character. Luke Cage continues on his path of trying to save Harlem and sacrificing anything to succeed. And finally there’s Danny Rand, the Iron Fist, easily the most unlikeable character in the show. One dimensional, without any character arc, and never redeemed, the entire show pivots on the viewer’s understanding of what happened in Iron Fist, and suffers because of it.

Having only eight episodes, The Defenders packs a tight story within its short runtime. Every episode flows wonderfully into the next, and it’s easy to blow through the show in a mere sitting or two. This is the best way to watch the show, as taking breaks between episodes will ruin the fluidity of the episodes. It’s helpful at points, as some episodes are barely enjoyable. In fact, it’s not until the end of the third episode that the show really begins to pick up. Unfortunately, due to its short episode count, this is almost halfway through the show.

The Defenders is far from the best Marvel Netflix show. While it has its enjoyable moments, the finale is underwhelming and the villains are detached and unrelatable. The best part of The Defenders is the sixty second teaser trailer for the upcoming Punisher show at the end of the final episode.

2/5 Sails

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