I didn’t expect to talk about Iron Fist so soon again. Yesterday I saw episode eight, and I was in total awe. I was the only Jackie Chan fan in the room who caught what the scene was all about. [SPOILER ALERT! Heavey spoilers of a scene of this episode!] Danny, Colleen and Claire end up in China to find the head of the Hand. At a certain point, he has to go through a door, but it’s guarded by a drunken Chinese. When I saw the beginning of the scene, I knew where this was going to end: with a fight. Not an ordinary fight, but a fight where the Drunken Master gets more power the more he drinks.
Jackie Chan’s movie, the Drunken Master, is very funny and awesomely performed. I saw it first in Chinese with English subtitles years ago, and I was hooked in Hong Kong movies. Jackie is a drunk who fights kick ass when he has alcohol in his veins.
The original title of the movie is “Drunken Fist,” which is kind of funny when you find Danny, the Iron Fist, fighting with a “drunken fist” to be able to go through the door where the baddies are hiding. The original movie is comedic kung fu, and I think that the guys of Iron Fist wanted to do something of the sort. Unfortunately, Danny’s Drunken Master wasn’t that funny.
It might sound silly, but this scene made me take yet another look at the show. People are criticizing it a lot. But as you know from my previous post, I find it quite relatable. Now I found something else: winks to famous Asian movies.
Since I was the only one in the room who got the reference, now I wonder how much of Iron Fist is lost to the audiences. I’ve seen tons of Hong Kong movies. I even went to Hong Kong and bought DVDs with movies no one knows back at home. Despite being three geeks in the room watching the episode, only me got that the scene in Iron Fist came from the Drunken Master, originally titled the Drunken Fist. Hence, the irony in the scene spoke volumes.
However, at this point, I must come to terms with parts of the show being lost in interpretation. The winks might be too geeky or accurate for a wider audience to tune in. Danny feels like an expat, and now the show is hinting to Hong Kong movies. This means that I need to watch the show again when I finish it and see if I missed something.
It’s obvious that the show is playing with the audience at large: we’re almost all of us like Claire. The more I watch the show, the more I see the layers in it. Highly criticized, demonized and even attacked, it happens to be a small jewel if we stick around and decide to look what’s in it. A few members of the audience are like Danny, some other few ones are like Colleen, but the vast majority are like Claire.
So, be like her and join the tribe. Open your eyes and try to watch the show from another angle. You might find out treasures hidden within! Now, go and watch the Drunken Master. It’s hilarious!