GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

2017-03-16 - Las Vegas Weekly

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no defense n a few months, Marvel superheroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist will team up for the Netflix series The Defenders. That show's im- minent arrival makes the new Iron Fist solo series especially redundant, a long, dull setup just to put the character in place to join his fellow, more popular Marvel stars. While Marvel's three previous Netflix shows established distinc- tive yet overlapping worlds for their title characters, Iron Fist is rote and uninspired, with a bland leading man and a slow, unexciting narrative progression. The heir to a multibillion-dollar corporation, Danny Rand (Game of Thrones' Finn Jones) returns to New York City after being presumed dead 15 years earlier in a plane crash with his parents. Instead he has spent the interim in the mystical city of K'un-Lun, learning martial arts and gaining the power to punch with super- natural force. But Danny does disappointingly little punching on a show that spends too much time in corporate offices and conference rooms, as Danny attempts to assert control over his father's company. The show's corporate intrigue is tedious and boring, and Danny's business rivals are less villainous than greedy and sleazy. The only truly bad guy in the six episodes (of 13 total) available for review is a character imported from Daredevil, who mostly operates in the shadows anyway. Jones can't make Danny into much of a commanding presence, and he's constantly upstaged by Jessica Henwick as martial-arts instructor Colleen Wing, Danny's one ally and a major character from the Iron Fist comic books. Colleen is steely, charismatic and powerful, and she's easily the show's best character. In the comics, Colleen joins with Misty Knight (memorably played by Simone Missick on Luke Cage) to form the Daughters of the Dragon. That's a team-up worthy of its own Netflix series. I aabcc ShotS Fired Wednesdays, 8 p.m., Fox. Premieres March 22. There are a lot of big issues raised in Fox's crime drama Shots Fired, which begins with a black police officer shooting an unarmed white college student in the South and only gets more incendi- ary from there. But the show from filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights) and Reggie Rock Bythewood also embraces its pulpier side, with plenty of cop- show clichés. Sanaa Lathan gives a strong performance as Ashe Akino, a veteran Department of Justice investigator sent to the fictional town of Gate Station, North Carolina, to help young DOJ pros- ecutor Preston Terry (a somewhat stiff Stephan James) get to the truth of what happened during the shooting. Their investiga- tion opens up a mess of corruption and conspiracy, which eventually draws parallels to several recent, racially charged scandals. A lot of the political commentary is blunt and inelegant, but it can be powerful at times, when it's not undermined by melodramatic plot twists. As with other series that play out a single criminal investigation over an entire season, Shots Fired drags as the story progresses, and the detours into its main characters' personal lives are mostly distract- ing. The result is an uneven but sporadically engaging drama that tries to titillate its audience while also making it think. –Josh Bell + aaccc MArVeL'S iroN FiSt Season 1 available March 17 on Netflix. MArVeL MiSStepS with LAteSt Superhero SerieS iroN FiSt B y J o s h B e l l poLice brutALity shots Fired tells a politically charged crime story Iron Fist fends off an attacker. (Netflix/Courtesy) 58 WEEKLY | 03.16.17 S C R E E N

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