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'Iron Fist' is Still Struggling on Netflix
September 7, 2018  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

Marvel still hasn’t quite figured out what to do with Iron Fist

Give the world’s hottest comic industry credit for persistence, though. After the first TV season of Iron Fist sparked a fair number of yawns – not the norm for Marvel these days – the second season premieres Friday on Netflix.

The new season isn’t terrible. It just doesn’t fix enough of the problems that made its first season one of the least praised productions in our current blizzard of Marvel video extravaganzas.  

Our title chap Danny Rand (Finn Jones, top) fits right in with the rest of the Marvel heroes lineup. He’s troubled, ambivalent, brooding and plagued by the never-answered question of how to do what’s right.

He also takes his shirt off a lot.

Much of Danny’s angst stems from being a billionaire who wants to return to his simple roots as an ordinary guy who uses his superpower, a fist that can blow things up or blow bad guys away, to right wrongs in his beloved New York City.

Marvel’s apparent dilemma, after spending a decade unsuccessfully trying to mold Iron Fist into a feature film, then another several years on the TV adaptation, is that it can’t find a way to make Danny’s problem, or his partial solutions, into a gripping enough story. Or maybe a unique enough story.

In any case, without dropping spoilers, Danny and his girlfriend Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) now find themselves drawn into a downtown gang war.

Colleen, who has serious martial arts skills, really wants to stay out of the fighting and violence game. Last time she didn’t, she explains, things did not end well.

But there’s still this mysterious organization called The Hand that’s making life miserable for too many people, and Colleen accidentally discovers a personal connection to the bad situation Danny has been drawn into.

So it’s a safe bet that Colleen, too, will not avoid some involvement. That’s annoying for her and good for us, since fights involving skilled women are something Marvel does well and needs to do more often.  

Meanwhile, Danny still has to work things out with Rand, the corporation from whence his money flows. He walked away once before, but now he’s back, which means he’s interacting again with the Meachum family that has been running Rand for the last few years. And has turned it into a ruthless corporate powerhouse.

The Meachums start with patriarch Harold (David Wenham), from whence the ruthlessness springs. His kids, Ward (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy (Jessica Stroup), are a little more nuanced, though they too have issues with Danny; sometimes he doesn’t think Rand is on the right moral track.

Unconnected as it may seem, that part of Danny’s life ties back into the downtown gangs part. For this, we can mostly thank his old friend and now possibly frenemy Davos (Sacha Dhawan).

The most promising new wrinkle for the second season may be Mary Walker (Alice Eve), who bumps into Danny on a downtown street and casually mentions that she’s just a small-town gal from Wisconsin looking to find her way around the big city.

Okay, we’ll go spoiler here: Bumping into Danny may not have been a random accident for Mary.

So it’s not like there’s no story here, or that we dislike any of the good guys. And we do get a martial arts fight that doubles as a food fight. In the end, though, Iron Fist remains a work in progress.

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Iron Fist is boring. Slow story and contrived conversations between characters. I dislike the music also. Seems to get in the way sometimes. The profound cliches between actors seem to be too comic bookie for me. The Mary Walker character is actually interesting unlike the main characters. The Danny and Colleen love story is non existent. Lots of voiced respect but no love. There may be a story but it is confusing. The Asian actors are all good by the way.
Sep 12, 2018   |  Reply
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