‘Arrow’ Keeps Shooting, But It Keeps Hitting Off Target

It seems that things are finally coming together on ‘Arrow’. Plots are starting to thicken and story arcs are starting to curve. But, still there seems to be something a bit lackluster about it all. And, no, I’m not talking about the fact that I’ve been watching this show in standard definition on a high definition TV either.

First world pains, indeed.

Perhaps it’s just the world that we live in now where superhero movies and shows are held up to such a high standard. We first had Chris Nolan’s Batman Begin which lit the powder keg of superhero movie renaissance  Then came Marvel’s Iron Man, which is probably one of the best superhero films out there (besides Batman). It was these two films that set Marvel and DC apart with respects to filmmaking and style.

Where Marvel takes the more authentic “comic book movie” approach to their films, DC has chosen to take their properties in a more realistic direction. This is where Arrow fits in to it all. In keeping with the Nolan model for DC films (and a possible JLA film somewhere down the road), Arrow attempts to replace the quirky things like the boxing glove arrow with an arrow filled with explosives or tipped with a recording device. You know, more real world stuff.

But, somewhere between comic book and reality, Arrow has lost it’s sharp point. Unlike Batman Begins or The Dark Knight, Arrow doesn’t seem to believe what it’s trying to sell to you. Right now, Stephen Amell seems to regard the characters of Oliver Queen and Green Arrow as mere characters. Amell likes to play both characters as if they are one in the same, except that Oliver Queen, when being the playboy, speaks with a little higher tone of voice. That’s it.

In reality, like Bruce Wayne isn’t Batman, Oliver Queen isn’t Green Arrow. Why not play the character as such? Why must both characters be angry, monotoned brutes with the body of a rock god and eyes without eyelids? There’s a spark to his acting that’s missing. But, I hope that a second season will help Amell flesh out the character. Once he comes comfortable in the green hood, he’ll be comfortable as the Green Arrow.

Blink damn you!

There’s still this voice in the back of my head saying that many action fans and comic book nerds love this show because they have to do so. Seeing that there isn’t much variety in the way of shows based on comic books, we can’t be picky when the pickings are so damn slim. But, in the same token, I feel that we don’t have to accept whatever table scraps we are given. We can ask the hand to dress it up a little, you know?

A dash of pepper and a pinch of salt, please?

Out of this darkness that I’ve been spinning is a glimmer of hope. For starters, have any of you read the current run of Green Arrow? Well, if you haven’t already, don’t right now. It isn’t that good. I ended up reading issue #0 of the relaunch and hated it, and I’ve heard that the others aren’t any better. But, have no fear, because Jeff Lemire is here! The current Animal Man writer will be taking over Green Arrow very soon, hopefully breathing new life into a character that has found a resurgence in popularity, thanks to this show.

Jeff Lemire

The second bright spot is the character of John Diggle. Although he isn’t in the comics, there is a good possibility that he could be one day. Diggle is the balance that Green Arrow needs when it comes to the struggle between justice and revenge. Out of all the characters, including Green Arrow himself, I find John Diggle the most interesting. His love and will to do good on big and small levels is very admirable. I can’t wait to see where his character will go. Perhaps he’ll have his own mask to wear one day?

Diggle’s gun is his mask.

For now, though, I have two weeks until the next episode premieres to digest all of this and determine if Arrow is worth more time and patience. I mean, I gave J.J. Abrams’ Revolution eight episodes before finally thinking, “You know, this show isn’t that bad.” So, I’ll wait until at least the episode that Green Lantern writer and comic book legend Geoff Johns had written. Then, and only then, will I make my choice. Unless they add Batman to an episode before then. Then, I’m 100% in, no matter what happens.

God, I loves me some Batman…

What do you think? Am I being too picky or too negative? I want to know. If you will, please comment below. Rip me apart if you’d like, or, if you’d like your thoughts to be private, you can now e-mail me personally at leroy@letusnerd.com.

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