Arrow (Midnight City) Review

Vinny Jones as Brick

Vinny Jones as Brick

Arrow  is probably the best action drama on television.  It continues to improve every week by developing the main character’s story along the supporting character’s stories. The best part about last week’s episode was the main character, Oliver Queen, was not even in the show until the end of it. Stephen Amell plays Queen and again he was given the backseat to a few other main characters.  Ollie’s partners Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), Diggle (David Ramsey), Felicity, (Emily Brett Rickards), and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) all take starring roles in this episode to stop Brick (Vinny Jones).   Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) is also showed cased more in this episode as a catalyst for things to come in the future of Arrow.

Colton Haynes as Arsenal  Katie Cassidy as Black Canary

Colton Haynes as Arsenal
Katie Cassidy as Black Canary

Oliver Queen is supposedly dead and the maniac known as Danny Brickwell as taken over the city.  Laurel Lance steps into the Black Canary costume in attempt to fight Brick’s men. She gets her ass pretty much kicked but Arsenal shows up and helps her.  Roy remind Laurel that he has had training from Oliver and years on the street.  Ray Palmer and other city officials hold a meeting to discuss the Brickwell problem.  Brickwell doesn’t oblige their meeting because he shoots his way into the office and captures several city officials.  The mayor decides to give against the consent of Captain Lance.  Meanwhile Malcolm Merlyn tries to convince Thea Queen, his daughter, to leave Starling City because they are endanger. Malcolm tells her the truth about Ra’s Al Ghul.  Felicity has a conversation with Laurel and realizes Laurel is continuing Ollie’s fight so she has too. She helps Ray Palmer solve his Atom Suit problem.  Oliver is in a shack healing with the help of old friends.

John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn and Will Holland as Thea Queen

John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn and Willa Holland as Thea Queen

First of all this Arrow episode really didn’t have a lot wrong with it. John Barrowman and Willa Holland did detract from the main storyline a little bit of the heroes trying to stop Brick. However, their storyline is important. Roy shows up at Thea’s apartment and demands Malcolm stop seeing Thea. Merlyn replies “thanks, I needed a laugh.”  Thea also demands to know the truth why they have to leave the city.  She reminds her father that he taught to be a fighter and not a person who runs away from a fight.  These scenes set up the more important part of the main storyline of Malcolm finally confronting Ra’s Al Ghul.

This episode deserves a lot of props on how they handled their main female characters, Laurel and Felicity.  Laurel has been an awesome or stupid character depending on the episode. This episode highlighted the strengths and weakness of Laurel.  Laurel is a strong commanding district attorney. She uses her power and authority to exploit criminals into making deals.  However, she is a weak crime fighter. She nearly was killed three separate times in the show and escaped her almost final fight by kicking Brick in the balls.  Laurel and Felicity have a great chemistry on screen with their interactions to each other. Felicity is super stupid when she is a nagging witch but she is strongest she stands with and helps the people she loves.  Emily and Katie showed a great deal of emotion during this episode.  They really made this episode special.

Ray Palmer played Brandon Routh and Felicity Smoak  played Emily Brett Rickards

Ray Palmer played Brandon Routh and Felicity Smoak played Emily Brett Rickards

The last positive that I want to touch on is Brandon Routh and Vinny Jones.  They make their characters fun, likeable, and command the screen when they are in a scene and one of them plays a bad guy. Brandon plays a great romantic hero who wants to the save because he is noble and good.  He might get his own show playing the Atom. Vinny Jones on the other hand is evil. He has fun playing the evil greedy one lining bad guy who will kill anybody for the hell of it. He needs to be reoccurring villain every season because he is so good.

Overall, this arrow episode was great.  The secondary characters are being developed more and more each episode.  Midnight City gets a 4.5/5.

Thea has an Assassin working for spoiler alert

Thea has an Assassin working for her spoiler alert

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Arrow (Left Behind) Review

RA Al GHUL killing Oliver Queen in combat RA Al GHUL played by Matt Nable Oliver Queen played by Stephen Amell

Ra Al Ghul killing Oliver Queen in combat
Ra Al Ghul played by Matt Nable
Oliver Queen played by Stephen Amell

 

Who fights crime now?

The Climb, the previous Arrow episode,  ended with Oliver Queen being killed by Ra Al Ghul in mortal combat.  In this episode, tells the story what is Starling City like without Oliver Queen as the Arrow to fight crime. The episode also is a catalyst for Arsenal’s future independence as a crime fighter (at some point in the show) and starts the countdown to Laurel apocalypse.  Laurel Apocalypse was coined by John Campea but the meaning of the word is when Laurel Lance starts to pose as the Black Canary and fans might quit watching the show.

The episode starts with Diggle and Roy pursuing a truck with two criminals. They capture one criminal and discover he works for a crime boss named Brick, played by Vinny Jones. Felicity has trouble focusing on her work and needs to find out if Oliver Queen is dead. Malcolm Merlyn looks into the matter and discovers that Oliver Queen is dead by the traditional practice of Ra Al Ghul leaving the killing weapon on holy ground to honor the dead. Felicity tests the blood on the weapon and discovers that it is Oliver’s blood. Roy and Diggle need to stop Brick but Felicity prevents them in succeeding by quitting the team. Meanwhile, Oliver has an old friend who helps him even though he is dead.

Diggle played by John Ramesy  Arsenal played by Colton Hayes

Diggle played by John Ramesy
Arsenal played by Colton Hayes

The episode was a very good episode because of the conflicts within the Arrow team. Roy still wants to fight crime and stand up for the innocent. Diggle has mixed feelings about fighting crime. Felicity wants out of the crime business because she lost Oliver. Colton Hayes was more a feature in this episode which was nice. It is like having a Robin or Nightwing centric storyline in a series of Batman issues. Roy in the episode was put on display. He was skilled with a bow but still lack that intuition to be near as good as Oliver Queen. Felicity had internal conflicts which made her walk away from Ray Palmer and his goal of building a crime fighter suit.  It was nice to see all three pivotal characters featured in a episode without Oliver Queen being the main focus.

Katie Cassidy as Black Canary

Katie Cassidy as Black Canary

 

The biggest negative was Laurel Lance but not until the end of the episode. She does show up in the Black Canary outfit.  Katie Cassidy looks gorgeous as the Black Canary but her character is no Canary. Her crime fighting skills makes Roy look like Oliver Queen.  However, the writers of the show can prove us wrong.

Overall,  Left Behind was a great mid season premiere. It was better than Gotham’s or the Flash’s premiere. The villain was great and Vinny Jones should reoccur as Brick every couple of episodes per season. Brick will be talked about more in next week’s review. Left Behind gets 4.5/5.

Arrow (the climb) review

Arrow vs. Ra Al Ghul; what could go wrong?

Arrow vs. Ra’s Al Ghul; what could go wrong?

Ra’s Al Ghul is one of the most vicious DC comic book villains. Liam Neeson played Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman Begins, and David Warner did the voice for the character in the Batman Animated series.  Ra’s Al Ghul has two daughters, Nyssa and Talia. He is pretty ruthless in exacting vengeance for his daughters if they get hurt. This is why Arrow, Oliver Queen, is in his cross hairs.  Oliver finally comes face to face with the Head of the Demon tonight.

Oliver finds out his DNA matches the DNA on the arrow that killed Sara Lance. Diggle quickly speculates that Malcolm Merlyn, John Barrowman, has something to do with Sara dying. The team investigate and find out that Thea Queen came back to Starling the night before Sara died. The League of Assassins gives Oliver 48 hours to find Sara’s killer or they will kill fifty innocent people. Malcolm shows up and tells Oliver that Thea killed Sara Lance. She was under the influence of a drug that he gave her and that Ra’s Al Ghul would kill Thea if Oliver turns Malcolm over to the League. Oliver realizes that he must face Ra’s in combat but it could cost his life. (Oh positive note, Ray Palmer showed Felicity his Atom suit or the design of it.)

Oliver meets his fate

Oliver meets his fate

First, this mid-season finale was not as good as the Flash’s but it still a good episode.  The revelation that Malcolm has been playing innocent the whole time about Sara dying, but he is really a sadistic SOB that formed a plan to get out of facing Ra’s Al Ghul. Hell, he uses his daughter as leverage to make Oliver fight Ra’s because he knows Oliver has no chance in hell. Oliver is no where near as skilled in combat as Ra’s. Oliver’s martial arts skills don’t even touch the surface where Batman is compared when Batman takes on Ra’s. I want to warn fans not to compare the two heroes. Batman has been fighting for crime and learning master his stealthy technique and his knowledge of unarmed combat for he was a teenage. Oliver has been doing this for 5 to 8 years and still couldn’t beat Deathstroke without some help from Felicity. The comparison is unfair so Arrow fans don’t bring up on how Batman can kick Ra’s ass and Oliver Queen can’t. Deathstroke couldn’t even take down Ra’s Al Ghul. Ra’s is the world’s most formidable killer.

Matt Nable as Ra's Al Ghul

Matt Nable as Ra’s Al Ghul

Matt Nable was a good Ra’s Al Ghul. Yes, Liam Neeson might have been a better Ra’s Al Ghul but he had more screentime. Neeson was more a cold unattached assassin while Nable’s Ra’s has some love for his daughter. Nable nailed the character in his limited screentime. He was more deceptive as Ra’s because honestly, had a feeling that Oliver would win during the fight tonight and kill him.  Nable does look like he is 50 to 60, and he kicked Oliver’s ass.  Kudos, to  Matt Nable for being a menacing Ra’s Al Ghul.

Overall, this episode of Arrow was good. It wasn’t like the Flash’s mid-season finale but it was entertaining. Honestly, this episode was design humble and evolve Oliver Queen as a crime fighter. He has pretty much been the top dog for a year or two. He pretty much defeated the Flash but he showed weakness in his skill level to defeat one or more assassins. “The Climb” gets a 4/5.

Arrow (Draw Back Your Bow) review

Amy Gumenick as Carrie Cutter/Cupid

Amy Gumenick as Carrie Cutter/Cupid

Finally the Introduction of Sadistic Female Villain!

Arrow has lacked strong female characters in the show’s history. Summer Glau, Susan Thompson, and Caity Lotz portrayed strong female characters but their characters are dead and gone. However, Amy Gumenick was introduced as Cupid tonight, and her character really made this new episode really entertaining.

Cupid is killing criminal to get the Arrow’s attention.  She is infatuated with Arrow because she is pretty psycho. He also saved her life one time and has built a shrine of his accomplishments. Oliver Queen has to hunt her down while dealing with another problem, Felicity and Ray Palmer.  Oliver is torn because he secretly wants Felicity to be his lady. Oliver is forced to deal with psychopathic stalker and his internal feelings toward Felicity.

Cupid was a great addition to the Arrow melting pot of characters.  Amy Gumenick brought great charisma to the screen as Cupid. The writers of Arrow can’t pick any DC villain and use them for a storyline or season long arch. They are limited but Cupid can be Arrow’s Harley Quinn. The character enjoys killing for fun. She is willing to kill Arrow and herself because she is a lunatic. She is very seductive too but no one should go to bed with her because an arrow might be put in your back.

Felicity and Ray Palmer had a good chemistry tonight and it made their story interesting.  Oliver wants Felicity and Barry Allen would date her too but the two superheroes are striking out on her affections. Palmer has made his interest in Felicity known from episode 1. He gave her mother a prototype communication device.  He has brought her dresses and made her vice president. They kissed tonight because both of them are very silimar. However, the question reminds if Ray Palmer will show Felicity is alter ego that he is creating. Brandon Routh and Emily Bett Rickards have great chemistry on screen together.

Overall, Draw Back Your Bow was a really good Arrow episode. It was entertaining and fun. The Arrow fan base will want to see more Cupid because the actress killed as a psycho.  Draw Back Your Bow gets a 4.5/5.

Arrow (Sara) review (minor spoilers)

Arrow Sara

Who Killed Sara?

Team Arrow is faced with their biggest lost when Sara Lance, Black Canary, was murdered.  Many fans posed questions all week who killed Sara?  Fans should applaud the show creators because they have killed main characters in the past. Tommy Merlyn died in the first season, and he was an integral part of the show. Black Canary has been murdered, and her character was rather important in Oliver’s life.   The question is: who really killed Sara?

Sara Lance is standing on a rooftop as she turns around to go fight crime  three arrows are shot in her chest. She falls backwards from the roof and dies as she hit the concrete.  Laurel sees her fall to the death and takes her body to Team Arrow. The sight of Sara dying is very powerful and upsetting that the team is thrown in chaos.  Oliver Queen needs Thea Queen, his sister, now more than ever.  She is nowhere to be found except training with her father. Oliver doesn’t know this.  Felicity is constantly being pursued by Ray Palmer to work for him.  He wants to hire her to be his right hand. She does end up taking the job. However, the main question is who killed Sara?  All signs to point to a master assassin called Komodo.  But did he really kill Sara or was someone else?

Matt Ward as Komodo

Matt Ward as Komodo

Arrow episode “Sara” was a step up from the season premiere.   Fans will throw out speculation on who killed Sara Lance.  Personally, I think someone from the League of Assassins killed her or it could be someone from ARGUS.  Komodo was a formidable fore for Arrow.  One scene had Arrow and Komodo playing chicken on their motorcycles. They would drive towards each other and shooting arrows at each other.  One of the best scenes in this episode was when Komodo was about to kill his final target but Roy shoots an arrow at his bow to knock out of his hands.  Roy and Oliver fight Komodo after that and the stunts were impressive for the minute they fought.  These few scenes made some really fun action moments on television.

Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer   Emily Bett Richards as Felicity Smoak

Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer
Emily Bett Richards as Felicity Smoak

Brandon Routh was a great choice for the character Ray Palmer.  Routh is charming, caring, and has this arrogance about him.   His acting performance draws in that you, as a viewer, want to like him but in the back of your mind you dislike him. He did takeovr Oliver’s Queen Company.  Honestly, the writers might need to keep him in the cast because many fans have taken to him.

My last positive about this episode is Laurel. Katie Cassidy is really growing into her role. She is no longer some attractive chick who weeps over guys. She is showing her emotions and starting to use her acting chops to command more of a presence on screen. Laurel hasn’t told her father that Sara has died either. There was one point that I thought she was really to going to tell her father that his sister died. However, Detective Lance has gone through so much that she couldn’t break his heart. It’s tough choice to do but she couldn’t do it until they have Sara’s killer.

Overall this Arrow Episode was very fun.  The episode has intriguing plot lines and the mystery of Sara’s killer is still at large.  Laurel is really growing into a good character. The fight choreography is very spectacular.  Arrow is one of the best shows on television and it will continue to gain viewers.  The episode “Sara” gets a 4.2/5.

Arrow (The Calm) review

Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer

Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer

At least they ended the episode on a shocker!

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Arrow’s season three premiered tonight.  Overall, the episode was very weak and felt like they were pulling teeth to get the end of it. This episode follows the consistency of weaker and more boring episodes follow the high action pact meaningful episodes.  Don’t worry, Arrow will rebound because the show is pretty freaking great.

Season three starts off with Oliver, Roy, and Dingle stopping a shipment full of illegal arms. Roy is Oliver’s partner but still a sidekick. He has as much freedom as Robin does. The Arrow is now widely accepted and loved by Starling City. He has the lower crime rate and  is an ally to the police force.  Oliver is also trying to reclaim his company but so is a guy named Ray Palmer. Dingle and Lyla are going to be parents soon. Oliver finally has time to date. He asks Felicity out and then suddenly a new crime boss comes to town. A crime boss takes up the mantle of Count Vertigo and starts to terrorize Starling City.  It forces Team Arrow to make personal choices.

The New Count Vertigo, Peter Stormare, was the best part of this episode. He somehow finds a way to use The Scarecrow fear toxin combined with Vertigo. Maybe, the Scarecrow will show up on Arrow. Stormare is very menacing in his role. He’s ruthless like the Joker in someways. He doesn’t mind killing people or blowing up buildings with people to make his point.  David Ramsey was also a strong positive aspect of the episode.  I hope he doesn’t leave the show because he is Oliver’s consciousness and reasoning like Alfred is Batman’s.  Honestly, the fight choreography is still spectacular. The team did a good job training Colton Haynes, Roy Harper, to perform the action sequences that Stephen Amell does.

Despite these positives, this episode was lackluster.  The reason why this needs mentioning because these season premieres don’t need to feel lackluster and boring. A lot of Arrow fans like: John Campea, Ann Campea, Kaori Takee, (John, Ann, and Kaori do the Arrow After Show on Stream TV’s youtube channel) and Dennis Tzeng and his Think Hero YouTube channel spend their time and energy reviewing Arrow episodes all season and trying to convince people to watch Arrow. This wasn’t a good episode to have after that mind boggling season finale in May. The writers maybe took the week off in the creativity department. Honestly, the Felicia and Oliver off and on again love story has already gotten old. I hope Ray Palmer steals Felicia from Ollie, because Oliver is such a pansy when it comes to his emotions.

Another problem with this episode that the writers decided to throw in Ray Palmer to steal Oliver’s company and continue to make Oliver a poor average man that somehow can afford Italian. How does Oliver pay for those trick arrows? Oliver is not supposed to be poor. To quote my mother, “The reason why we love superheroes like Tony Stark, Oliver Queen, and Bruce Wayne because they are the rich bastards who use their wealth to fight crime and save the city/world.” The writers of Arrow please correct this mistake because most of the Arrow fanbase doesn’t want to see A Dark Knight Rises retell on Arrow. It was cool when Slade Wilson stole Oliver’s company but isn’t cool when Ray Palmer, who will the hero the Atom, steal his company.

Overall, the season premiere was very boring and felt like a bad romantic comedy between Oliver and Felicity. The last five minutes were awesome and a shocker. It does help jump start the main central plot line in this season of Arrow. Stormare and Ramsey gave stellar performances and the fight scenes were fun and spectacular as usual. Arrow’s the Calm gets a 3/5.  (was checking my cellphone for the hour to be over during the episode people).

What did you think of this episode of Arrow? Comment below and let me know.

Brandon Routh cast as the Atom for Arrow Season 3

Was formerly Superman now is the Atom

Was formerly Superman now is the Atom

Who is the Atom?

Brandon Routh, who played Superman in Superman Returns in 2006, is now taking the mantle of another superhero, The Atom.  He will be playing Ray Palmer in Arrow’s season three.  The press release from Warner Bros. Television states:

Routh is set to play the recurring role of Ray Palmer, also known as The Atom, in the show’s third season. His character is a scientist and inventor that will have an unexpected yet mysterious role in the lives of Oliver and Felicity.

A few other reports indicated that he will be in the applied sciences division of Queen Consolidated. It is implied so he will be a love interest for Felicity Smoak. The poor girl is 0-2 in the love department in the show’s history (Barry Allen has Iris and Oliver is too much of a playboy for her).  Felicity does need a nerdy science guy.  Who is the Atom?

The Atom is a superhero who can change his molecular size and density. Ray Palmer experimented with white Dwarf star matter in his lab discovering that he can shrink or enlarge his physical appearance.  The Atom is one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC universe. The reason being that he can alter molecular makeup. His utility belt allows him access to equipment that helps him in special situations.  He also can guide through the air and punch through a concrete wall.

The Atom is a character that never gets a lot of face time in the comics or media. It is one of the reasons why this casting is exciting. The writers of Arrow not bound by comic book lore. They can alter the character and make him fit their universe. Brandon Routh is a talented actor. He did get bad press for Superman Returns but it wasn’t his fault. Personally it was a good movie. The box office wasn’t there for Warner Bros but 400 million dollars is nothing to cry about either. His casting will bring in more people into the fold to watch the show.  Arrow returns on Oct 8th at 8 PM Est.

Side Note: On Justice League Unlimited he appears in several episodes; The Return, Dark Heart, and Clash. It is animated cartoon series which is on Netflix.