“If we can’t save this city, you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it. Wait, we can’t avenge the city? Crap, okay I guess we’ll just defend it instead.” In the same way that The Avengers brought together Marvel’s phase 1 heroes and united them against a common foe, The Defenders seeks to unite Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist against The Hand who seek the destruction of New York City for….reasons. Now just to be clear, this review will be spoiler free so if you haven’t seen the first season yet, don’t worry too much. This review will be more general and focused on the pacing and general overview of the show, without delving too deep into the plot. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the first season of The Defenders.
Now the first thing I should make clear is prior viewing material. To truly understand The Defenders, you have to be up to date on Daredevil and maybe Iron Fist. I know that for a lot of us (Myself included), getting through Iron Fist took some effort, but it will help things in the show make sense. You could probably get away without watching Luke Cage or Jessica Jones, but I would wholeheartedly recommend both of those series, as they help you understand the character’s motivations and rationalizations throughout the series. With that in mind, The Defenders has quite a few good points going for it. The interactions between our 4 protagonists is done quite well, with each character showing their distinct view of the situation. Their dialogue is well written and watching the characters snark at each other is a real treat. Now as far as the individual characters go, I have to give credit where it’s due. Iron Fist steps up. Finn Jones does a much better job playing the hero here than he did in his own series. Whether that’s because he had a more diverse cast to play off from or just a matter of needing time to find the character is unclear, but what remains is that we got a better look at the defender of Kun’Lun. As an aside, Jones is confident that Danny will get to suit up in season 2 of Iron Fist, which should be interesting to see. With respect to the remaining Defenders, we got more of what we enjoyed from them in their respective series. Murdoch is still torn between his life as a lawyer and that of the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. Luke has finally had his coffee 😉 and is looking forward to moving forward with his life while Jessica is finally piecing herself back together after her confrontation with Kilgrave. One thing I’d like to mention briefly is the use of supporting characters. The Defenders brings together everyone’s support teams but doesn’t seem to make as much use of them as possible. Trish, Karen and Foggy are definitely there, but don’t get half as much use as Clair, Connie and Misty, which is a bit of a shame. I would have enjoyed seeing everyone getting their fair share of the spotlight, but alas, we can’t always get what we want.
Finally, before ending this, I’d be doing everyone a disservice if I didn’t talk about the fight scenes. I know we all expected an intense hallway fight and I’m gonna be honest. I was kind of disappointed with the fight sequences. At least, I was disappointed with the bigger fights. Most of the small scale, one on one fights were fine, but the larger ones felt like they were filmed excessively dark. On top of that, there was a lot of camera cuts, which took me out of the moment. Overall, I’d still say The Defenders is worth checking out, just to see how these distinct characters come together to save the city. The more I think about it, the more it seems like this was just The Avengers, but done at a street level rather than a “Save the World” level, but what do you think? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you thought of The Defenders and what you’d like to see included in Season 2. Catch you next time – BB
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