Review: CW’s Arrow Premiere Hits The Bullseye

Arrow CW PilotAs a long time comic reader and Green Arrow fan, I was curious what direction Arrow would go. Would it be the campy fun of Smallville? Would it try to be The Dark Knight of television? The answer’s really somewhere between the two.

Meet billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell, Private Practice). He’s spent the last five years surviving on his own on a deserted island after his father’s yacht, The Queen’s Ransom, goes under. He watched his girlfriend’s sister (whom Oliver was cheating with) and his father die. Something like that can change a person. And change Oliver it has.

Back in the real world of Gotham-esque Starling City, Oliver has made a Batman-esque vow to rid his city of crime and take vengeance on the fat cats that have lived so high for so long without caring what happens to everyone else.

There’s a lot in the pilot that just screams Batman. Oliver’s crusade is to save his city, and he’s on a mission after watching his father die in front of him. He puts on a face when in public, when it’s obvious the real Oliver is the one wearing the green hood. And for the pilot, this approach has been working.

On the down side, I found myself groaning at some of the relationship drama introduced in the pilot. Arrow is on the CW after all, so there’s probably some kind of melodrama quota the show has to meet to stay on the air.

Before the whole shipwreck incident, Oliver was in a relationship with Dinah Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy, Taken), and two-timing her with her own sister (who happened to drown in the shipwreck).  Now back from the dead, Laurel and Oliver have a tense relationship. Oliver’s trying to make up for cheating on her and for sort of causing his sister’s death (by inviting her on the yacht in the first place), and Laurel’s having none of it. It’s really melodramatic, and feels petty compared to the trials Oliver has to face as Arrow (or will it be Green Arrow? Green Hood? He doesn’t really have a “name” yet).

The action, on the other hand, is fast pace and energetic. The five years that Oliver trained on that island and in the training montage really prepared him for the fight to come. His archery is second to none, and could give both Katniss Everdeen and Hawkeye a run for their money. That training montage, by the way, was one of the most intense training montage’s I’ve ever seen. The guy does pull-ups by pushing the pull-up bar up to a higher level. It’s insane.

With some intense action and a solid mission statement, Arrow looks to be one of the better attempts at the superhero genre on TV. Here’s hoping it can keep the adrenaline pumping!

Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on the CW.

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Marlan Moore is a freelance writer just getting his feet wet in this pond called the Internet. He hopes to one day write for film, TV, and comics, but until then, he is the managing editor of Inside AX - Anime Expo's official news and review site. His favorite drink is Thai iced tea, but he could really use a root beer float right about now.