Marvel’s Iron Fist

IN MANY WAYS, Danny Rand is the most conventional of the Marvel superheroes who landed a Netflix gig in advance of joining up for the future series The Defenders. That is, if there’s anything ordinary about being a billionaire’s son presumed dead for 15 years who, after being raised by warrior Himalayan monks, returns to New York, where his barefoot look and Zen enthusiasms are seen as signs of madness. Finn Jones brings a scruffy, affable charm to Danny’s origin story, which at first seems like a kung fu Arrow, with thankfully far fewer flashbacks. He’s not exactly greeted with open arms by his well-heeled childhood chums (Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey), more like incarceration and hit squads, which is where that iron fist comes in handy—a glowing appendage that can burst through walls and fell an elevator full of assailants when Danny puts his mind to it. If Iron Fist pulls its punches in the originality department, it excels in thrilling martialarts action: not just Danny’s, but also that of his reluctant ally Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), a dojo master who makes extra money taking on fearsome opponents in brutal cage matches. I’d let them defend me anytime. ★★★✩✩

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