THE DEFENDERS REVIEW [SPOILER-FREE]:
Remember that amazing feeling you felt watching the Avengers for the first time – Seeing seperate heroes finally come together to fight an impending doom? The Defenders felt just like that for me, all over again!
There’s something fun and mesmerising about characters and microcosms bleeding into one another, after only experiencing them as seperate entities. Even though all 4 heroes fight crime in New York, their ‘worlds’ feel entirely different to one another. Their mindsets, backgrounds and morals all start to clash when they find themselves amongst people just as powerful as themselves. If the team worked effortlessly and harmoniously, then the story would be incredibly straight forward and boring, but having all 4 egos snap at one another makes the teamwork moments much more satisfying and rewarding once they finally happen. A dysfunctional family eventually working as a unit results in some immense pay-offs.
In terms of the story, it provided everything I was hoping for and more. When you have 4 characters that are used to having a whole series to themselves, I expect it’s difficult to budget and divide screen time evenly within an 8-episode mini series. Obviously, the heroes’ stories pick up where they individually left off, until of course they find out they have a common enemy. I don’t feel like anyone was given too much or too little screen time – everyone was on par with each other. I even think the supporting cast like Colleen Wing and Claire Temple had integral roles. I was pleasantly surprised by how much the series had time to delve more into them, as I thought the show would be far too busy to turn its focus away from the main characters.
I use the word, ‘busy’, but the pacing was nothing short of perfection in my eyes. Yes, it’s much quicker than the sets of 13-hour series we’re used to, but in a good way. The fact that the story rarely has time to slow down for too long means that the audience is spoilt in regards to the collection of amazing fight scenes. Each character has their unique fighting style, so when it comes to buddy brawls, the possibilities are near enough endless. Don’t get me wrong though, the story isn’t just fight after fight. If I were to summarise the plot, I would say that it’s incredibly compelling and intense.
In conclusion, I’d like to say that the Defenders was what it should have been the moment it was announced, with an amazing use of characters, music and colour (keep an eye on the reds, blues, yellows and greens). After years of build-up and speculation, you can’t help but wonder if it’ll truly live up to the hype, but it’s safe to say that it did, and with ease. I can only begin to imagine how hard it was to balance Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist into one short series, so I congratulate the writers and showrunners for their amazing work. It’s left me wanting more, and I’m excited to see how the future solo series’ will be shaped by the outcome of the show’s ending. All in all, the wait has been truly worth it.
Note: If Iron Fist was your least favourite character, then the Defenders does a great job at making him cooler.