Thursday, March 20, 2014

Recap/Review: DC Showcase "Green Arrow"

Yeah, this post is late, so let's not waste time. Green Arrow. Originally a bonus feature on the Superman/Batman: Apocalypse DVD. Let’s do this.

Well, more a "short" than a "movie," but still.
We open on Star City International Airport. According to the radio of a gridlocked car, the horrible traffic is due to some kind of “royal arrival” at the airport. The owner of said car radio, as well as said car, is none other than Oliver Queen and his epic goatee. He voicemails up his girlfriend, Dinah, and tells her that he’ll meet her in baggage claim. He hangs up and berates his unsmoothness over the phone, and fiddles with what is no doubt a box containing a wedding ring. (Guess how this ends.) In a fit of anger, he takes out his frustrations at the slow car ahead of him.

Oliver: “Oh, c’mon, the arrow’s green! Move!”

Cute, writers.

After a fashion, he finally parks his car and looks down from the parking structure. Much to his relief, Dinah isn’t trying to catch a cab. Much to his dismay, it seems that his old mentor/rival Merlyn (not a wizard, but a master archer) is entering the airport. Inside the airport, the security for the arriving Princess Perdita is going smoothly. That is, until a couple of thugs decide to assassinate her guards with cameras that fire bullets. A kerfuffle breaks out, and as one of the marksmen lines up his shot at the princess, an arrow hits the ground and releases tear gas.

Green Arrow: “Sorry I’m late, but you try changing clothes in a hybrid.”

…because hybrids are “green,” right? Ha. Ha. …ha.

"Come with me if you want to live."
Anyway, he introduces himself to the princess he just rescued, and takes her to the upper level of the airport, where more thugs wait with guns. Oops. Green Arrow launches a sonic arrow, which takes out several thugs and a few windows, and ziplines away with the princess thanks to another arrow. Up on the roof, Merlyn gets the order to attack, and Green Arrow rushes the princess across the tarmac, narrowly avoiding a landing plane.

Green Arrow: “That dragon almost got us.”
Perdita: “You do realize I am ten and do not require fairy tale metaphors?”
Green Arrow: “Sorry. It’s my first time rescuing royalty.”
Perdita: “It is quite the forgivable sin. Robin Hood.”

But before more banter can take place, Merlyn sends a few arrows their way. Green Arrow picks up Perdita and runs some more. He manages to almost make it to safety, but then he took an arrow to the knee.

I swear, that reference was accidental when I first wrote that.

Green Arrow pulls the “minor setback” out, and gets the princess to wrap his leg as he returns fire. As she exposits, it turns out that the king of her home country, Vlatava, died last night. “Princess” Perdita is now the queen.

What kind of screwed up political system without a proper line of succession allows a ten-year-old to be a queen? She’s not a figurehead, she’s the recognized authority of the whole country. Shouldn’t there be a senate, or parliament, or whatever to reign in her stead?

Whatever, politics later, action now. As Green Arrow gets Perdita to “safety” through use of a service vehicle, Perdita exposits that the evil Count Vertigo is next in line if she were to die, as well. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a motive. Seriously, Vlatava. Parliamentary democracy. Look into it.

Merlyn attempts to halt their progress by using a flaming arrow against as fuel truck, but no dice. Perdita and Green Arrow escape into the baggage conveyor, and Arrow fights a thug. Well, I say “fights.” More like, gets his butt handed to him before gaining the upper hand using his bow. Then getting hit by a low ceiling, falling down a chute, and narrowly blocking another arrow from Merlyn. As Merlyn taunts Green Arrow, I notice that he’s voiced by Malcolm McDowell. For the love of Bob, don’t break into Singin’ in the Rain.
He and Arrow trade barbs, before they decide to trade shots. It seems that Green Arrow has lost the last eight fights against this guy, though.

Perdita: “You lost?”
Green Arrow: “Yeah. But I’ve been practicing. A lot. One arrow each?”
Merlyn: “I accept your challenge. On three.”

I'd like to see John Barrowman pull off that look.
Who says that villains have no honor? They fire at the same time, and we get a nifty shot of Green Arrow’s arrow slicing Merlyn’s string, embedding itself into the wall, and releasing knockout gas.

But just when it looks like it’s over, Count Vertigo himself emerges from the shadows to do things himself. He fires his Vertigo-rays, or whatever, out of his hand, causing Perdita and Arrow to fall to the ground.

Vertigo borrows an arrow to do the deed, when suddenly he gets an earful of sonic canary cry and gets taken out in one shot.

Yep, it’s Oliver’s girlfriend, Dinah Lance, aka Black Canary.

DC will never ever get sick of using this shot.
While Green Arrow’s on his knees anyway, he decides to whip out his little secret. Hey. Mind out of gutter. He opens the box he was fiddling with earlier and pulls out a wedding ring.

Green Arrow: “Can’t live without you, babe. Literally.”

With more than a little excitement from Perdita, Dinah accepts, and the two kiss while Perdita… watches, I guess. The End!

This short had a few problems, but it also did a few things quite well. I’ll be going over both the good and the bad.

The Good
The characters, designs, and voices are all spot-on. Don’t get me started on the voices! Too late.
Green Arrow’s voice actor, Neal McDonough (aka that Borgified officer from First Contact and the guy who drops an F-bomb in Timeline) was born to play Green Arrow. His performance mixes “Average Joe” with “smart-aleck” with shades of streetwise crusader. It’s hard to explain.

Merlyn’s voice actor, Malcolm McDowell (aka Alex DeLarge and the guy who killed Captain Kirk) does equally well, balancing arrogance with ruthlessness.

Princess Perdita’s voice actress, Ariel Winter (aka Dora the Explorer from that R-rated College Humor parody) seems to be channeling Starfire’s proper/odd vocal characteristics, but does a passable job.

Black Canary’s voice actress, Grey deLisle (reprising her role from Batman: the Brave and the Bold) does her usual good job, for the fifty seconds she’s on screen.

The Bad
The pacing is… off. For 90% of it, we’re watching Green arrow fight thugs, before a final showdown with Merlyn. Then Count Vertigo comes out of nowhere, announces his evil scheme, and gets his butt kicked by the as-of-yet unseen Black Canary.

I don’t know what I would do to fix it; perhaps make Vertigo fight Green Arrow before the Merlyn showdown, then get him taken out for good by Black Canary? I don’t know. Still, I’ve seen worse things. Let’s face it, compared to all the other stuff I’ve had to put up with, pacing problems are practically a gift from the heavens. Heck, this was better than the main feature on the Superman/Batman: Apocalypse DVD, but I’ll save that for another day. All in all, give this one a watch.

See you next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment