Full of martial arts mysticism, mayhem, sharp one-liners, comic relief and fight scenes that deliver exactly the punch you expect, the August 18 launching of Marvel’s The Defenders is a very watchable and bingeable superhero team-up from the comic giant and Netflix that will transport you to a besieged NYC for the weekend.
As you surely know unless you have been living under a rock the past few months, the eight-episode limited series brings together almost the almost entire troupe from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist for an earthquake brewing exercise in fandom, as I say in my video review above. Picking up not long after where the most recent respective seasons of the Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Coulter and Finn Jones series left off, The Defenders is a slow burn that really gets rockin’ once the band of misfits get their act and battle mode together – and I will say no more than that to give away no more.
However, as several thousand surprised fans learned when the first episode was previewed at Comic-Con last month in the San Diego Convention Center’s huge Hall H, the real muscle here is in the performances of Ritter and Sigourney Weaver as Jones and The Defenders’ determined adversary the ancient and ailing Alexandra. Simply put, along with Elodie Yung as a resurrected Elektra, the future is female in The Defenders and that takes things in some unexpected and uncommon directions.
The Jessica Jones lead already gave a “very strong performance,” in the first season of her Melissa Rosenberg EP’d self-titled show, as I said in my review at the time. Reunited with an old lover in Cage and two new friends she doesn’t really want in Daredevil and the often mocked Iron Fist, Ritter evolves that further in this Marco Ramirez-showrun series. Introduced to a standing ovation at NY Comic-Con last fall as the foil in The Defenders, Weaver elevates the game by her sheer skills. Yet, the Aliens Oscar nominee pushes things further in this partially S.J. Clarkson helmed series with a uniquely layered portrayal of a villain who is only as bad as your perspective – which is an interesting notion in these times.
So take a look at my video review of The Defenders above to see more of what I think of this latest Marvel and Netflix offering. Tell us what you think, are you going to #DEFEND in a couple of weeks?
This review originally ran on August 8