Iron Fist's Horrible Action Is Fixed In Season 2
Iron Fist is supposed to be one of the most skilled martial artists in the entire Marvel Universe, the most competent warrior in the Lost City of K'un-Lun. That made season 1's poor fight choreography absolutely unforgivable. Although star Finn Jones underwent a grueling training regimen for the role, in interviews Jones revealed that he'd sometimes had only 15 minutes in which to familiarize himself with the fight choreography for a specific scene. The lack of time showed, and professional fight choreographers were unimpressed with Jones's performance; they argued he lacked the skill level needed to play the part. The problems were exacerbated by choppy editing, partly necessitated by bad execution of the choreography, with one clip boasting a staggering 56 cuts in a 35-second fight sequence. Although this kind of editing is sadly not uncommon in Hollywood, it only served to highlight Finn's inexperience and lack of skill.
But both Finn Jones and Jessica Henwick were able to start training for Iron Fist season 2 long before production began. In Jones's case, the actor began training a full five months before filming started up, and it paid off. As Marvel's Jeph Loeb observed in the show's production notes:
"Finn decided this year that it was important that most of those stunts be done by him and you can see it in the trailer. There’s an amazing moment from episode one where he’s beating on this sheet of metal and he has no shirt on. You can clearly see that Finn was working for the five months prior to when we started shooting, but it wasn’t just about working on his body, he also got into working with a sensei and he did yoga and he got into all different kinds of religious aspects of the role. He really came into his own in terms of who Danny is and who Finn is and his commitment to that."
Marvel recruited Black Panther fight choreographer Clayton Barber to work on season 2, a smart choice; Barber was responsible for the tremendous Warrior Falls fight between T'Challa and Killmonger, a breathtaking action sequence that delighted viewers. He choreographed some tremendous action scenes for Iron Fist, allowing both Jones and Henwick to demonstrate their increased confidence and skill. This time around, the actors were frequently able to perform the fight choreography well enough that they only needed one shot. In the case of Henwick, there's one scene in which her character Colleen Wing is holding her own against two of the Crane Sisters. Her opponents were both being played by professional stunt actors, and yet Henwick looks just as proficient and capable as them. Iron Fist season 2 can count its fight choreography as a tremendous success.