Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist come together to
stop the Hand from destroying New York City with an ancient weapon.
The Defenders (Season 1)
Created by Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez
Starring Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter,
Finn Jones, Elodie Yung, Jessica Henwick, Sigourney Weaver, Scott Glenn, Rosario Dawson, Simone Missick, Wai Ching Ho, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Eka Darville,
Ramon Rodriguez, Yutaka Takeuchi, Rachael Taylor
Spin-Off of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
The time for Netflix's four main heroes to unite has finally come. After two years and four shows of buildup, The Defenders have been brought together to save New York City. For me at least, the wait for this show has been akin to the wait for the first Avengers movie. Now that I've finally gotten to watch it, I gotta say I'm pretty disappointed. And I don't know why I'm surprised. My disappointment stems from a problem that the Netflix branch of the MCU has had since Daredevil's second season. It's a villain problem. The Hand are, of course, the main enemy of The Defenders, with their five immortal, interchangeable leaders being the big bads. These guys were boring in Daredevil, they were boring in Iron Fist, and guess what? They're boring here too. There's nothing more to their characters than "shadowy ninja cult" and anytime they try to provide an explanation, they go out of their way to avoid explaining anything of value. But I digress.
With only eight episodes as opposed to the usual thirteen, there was a lot of material to squeeze in. The writers did a fantastic job bringing the team together. Charlie Cox, Krysten RItter, Mike Colter, and Finn Jones all meshed well together and had terrific chemistry. I felt that Elodie Yung stepped up her performance as Elektra, even if her character still doesn't seem as valuable as The Hand constantly says she is. Sigourney Weaver was the biggest letdown, I felt. Her character Alexandra was the big mystery of the year. Turns out the big reveal was that she was another immortal leader of The Hand with zero personality and no real endgame besides staying immortal. Plus, she phoned it in. Considering the vast archive of Marvel villains to choose from, it's pretty sad that the writers choose to make one up and then half-ass it anyway.
The choreography was considerably worse than it's been in the past, with lots of choppy editing and poor lighting. I did like that the show acted as a sequel to all four solo outings, so a lot of loose ends were tied up quick. But the bad really started to outweigh the good as I zoomed through those eight episodes, and believe me, I really wanted to like this one. But it feels like a lukewarm retread of everything Netflix has done involving The Hand with very little new story added. I'd argue that The Defenders is easily the MCU's biggest disappointment yet, and I really hope their next big outing goes through a major creative overhaul. And I never want to see The Hand again, if they can help it.