Marvel’s new Netflix series ‘The Defenders’ came out on the 18th of August, so obviously we all spent the weekend binge-watching the entire eight-episode miniseries. And at the end of it all, we have some thoughts.
All of the series that have led up to this miniseries have done a great job on creating four memorable main characters who have diverse storylines and intense personal relationships with their secondary characters. Yet, it can also be said that none of the series have spent much time in fully introducing the reigning bad guys, The Hand. Iron Fist was the series that tried its best to really emphasise how important this organisation would be to the plot of The Defenders, yet it still fell flat as no-one could really explain what The Hand’s real plan and purpose was (other than a vague kind of world domination).
As a looming terror for the series to start with, the depiction of The Hand was probably the shakiest part of the entire series, as we are given a disappointing explanation for their terribly evil plan that is hinted at throughout each episode, while they reveal that obtaining the power of the Iron Fist is central to their plan without really providing a perfect explanation for it all.
With this being said, we could easily say that the rest of the series is a success. The continuation of relaying the individual characteristics of each member of the team builds a perfect display of the discord that will create unity between The Defenders. We also get to see brilliant chemistry between characters, as Luke Cage and Jessica Jones return to their casual friendliness, as well as increasing banter between Cage and Danny Rand. Jessica proves herself to be trustworthy as well as sarcastic with Matt Murdoch, and overall the relationships work well together – though not without strains throughout. There are several opportunities for us to see fights between the team members themselves, which provides amazing entertainment and great fight sequences.
And let’s get into those fight sequences. From the opening of the first episode we’re frequently treated to the incredible displays of martial arts that we’ve been getting used to seeing in both Daredevil and Iron Fist respectively, and yet with each team fight we also get to witness the sheer power of both Jones and Cage as they easily throw their enemies around the battlefield. Sparring scenes are a-plenty throughout the series, which makes for excellent entertainment, especially in the moments that are more emotional to watch.
The characterisation is always incredible to watch, with emotional displays from every character, but most notably from Elodie Yung repeatedly as Elektra, both in scenes with Matt Murdoch as well as with the matriarchal figure of Alexandra, Sigourney Weaver’s much-anticipated character. Weaver is, as always, amazing in every scene that she appears in, but is frequently overshadowed by Elektra’s portrayal of a young woman consistently fighting her own confusing demons.
Overall, we can easily say that The Defenders was a lot of fun to watch. Although the plot didn’t seem incredibly thought out, and it did feel like they began to care more about showing moments where the team was fighting together rather than developing characters outside of the main four – the members of The Hand were barely touched on and the relationships between the various Defenders’ loved ones seemed forced and confusing (Karen and Trish’s conversation in the police station – we’re looking at you), it was an enjoyable show. The chemistry between the heroes and the witty dialogue and intensive fight scenes that we’ve become used to through each of the personal shows were ever present and made the whole experience so much fun to watch.
And now we’re totally ready for Daredevil season 3 and Jessica Jones season 2. Get your countdown’s ready!