Within Marvel canon the Immortal Iron Fist is regarded as one of the singular finest hand-to-hand, foot-to-dick and every other combination of limb to major extremity or weakpoint combatant you can think of. In the movie universe based on the comics however, he’s seemingly incapable of knocking out a wank, let alone a minimum wage earning goon on the villain of the week’s payroll. Something that has a lot to do with the fact nobody wanted to train the actor playing him to convincingly throw a half-decent punch.
For anyone unfamiliar with The Living Weapon’s reputation in the Marvel Comics Universe, which weirdly enough isn’t called the MCU, Iron Fist can hold his own against the likes of Wolverine, Captain America and Spider-Man. The latter being a character who is ordinarily considered “Virtually unbeatable” in a one-on-one due to a combination of his innate spider-reflexes, unnaturally limber physique and big meaty spider fists.
This is, in part, due to the fact the Iron Fist, as part of his training, had to physically best an immortal serpent king called Shou-Lao the Undying which lends its tremendous power to the character in times of need or when he really needs to shotgun blast an opponent’s heart out of their chest with a well placed backhand.
Anyway, prior to the introduction of Shang-Chi into the MCU, fans of watching people hit each other in cool and interesting ways were excited to see how the Dragon of K’un-Lun would be realised on the small screen. Especially after Marvel had already produced like a dozen episodes of Daredevil where the titular character backflip-kicks a bunch of bikers down a flight of stairs in a bulletproof punch suit. In short, expectations were high.
What they got instead was Finn Jones sleepwalking through hastily slapped together fight choreography with more cuts than the bangs of the world 4 months into the pandemic. Which was confusing for fans of TV-adjacent Marvel content due to the quality of fight scenes in the aforementioned Daredevil show. So what gives?
Well it would later emerge that the show’s star, Finn Jones, basically didn’t want to learn how to fight with the show’s stunt coordinators working in tandem to steal a bus and then metaphorically throw Jones under it in interviews where they were asked why the fight scenes were so shit.
In Jones’ defence he would later note that he’d only have about 15 minutes to prepare for fight scenes, basically learning everything from scratch, on the fly. For comparison’s sake a later season of Daredevil had a single fight scene that lasted almost as long as Jones had to prepare for a 30 second slap-fest with a security guard.
On the other hand it’s also noted that Jones’ costar, Jessica Henwick trained for about 4 hours every day during pre-production working tirelessly with the choreographers and stunt guys to make sure her fight scenes didn’t, well, look like shit. Which yeah, probably shows that Jones is at least partly to blame here given he had an opportunity to spend 4 hours a day grappling with Jessica Henwick and instead decided to sit on his arse and do nothing.