Thursday, 21 May 2015

Arrow: Season 2 Review


Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Created By
Greg Berlanti
Marc Guggenheim
Andrew Kreisberg

Based on the Characters Created By
DC Comics

Genre
Crime, Action, Superhero

Cast

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen / The Arrow
Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance
David Ramsey as John Diggle
Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke
Willa Holland as Thea Queen
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn
Colton Haynes as Roy Harper
Caity Lotz as Sara Lance
Celina Jade as Shado
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Colin Salmon as Walter Steele

Certificate
15

Synopsis

After being shipwrecked and stranded on an island for five years millionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returns home to Starling City. 

It is clear that his experiences on the island have changed him and disguised as a hooded figure known as Arrow he uses the new skills he has developed to fight crime including the corruption taking place within his deceased father's company.

Review

After watching the first season of Arrow, I was struck with just how creative and successful a job the show makers did of bringing the famous but sometimes overlooked character to life.

A lot of this was down to the fast paced writing, combined with the flashbacks fleshing out the story and the performers giving the characters their own lives and personalities, but for me, the main selling point of the entire series was the superb performance by Stephen Amell.  Before the show started, I wasn't at all familiar with his past performances but he has quickly become one of my favourite actors to watch.

The second season picks up from the ending of the first season with the city in absolute destruction.  The feeling of anger and resentment towards the Queen family is very well played here and Amell does a superb job of balancing the characters feelings towards what has happened with his need to 'clean up' the city of the criminals that are taking over.

One of the things that I liked the most about this series is that it managed to juggle many different plates and keep them spinning in such a way that there are many different stories running alongside each other without it feeling cluttered or confusing.

The main story is that of the threat of the return of someone from Queen's past wanting revenge for what has happened on the island that Queen himself escaped from.  It's a well written and slow burning tale of loss and the need for a man's revenge alongside his growing insanity.  Manu Bennett plays the part very well and the chemistry between himself and Amell really make their scenes pop off of the screen.

With the appearance of some new characters, that will definitely bring about some very big changes in Queen's life, some tragic and some exciting.  I loved the feel that nobody in the series was safe and I also loved the surprise appearances by some characters from the long running comic book series and it's history.

That said, the one thing that bothered me was the simple fact that there were a couple of moments where the characters seemed to act a little bit out of character and then it wouldn't be mentioned again.  Maybe those moments will be alluded too in the third series perhaps.

Also a couple of the episodes seemed to not live up to their protential as well.  That was a real shame because with such strong characters, the episodes that fell a little short ended up feeling a little bit like a wasted opportunity.  That said, we do get a couple of nice surprise appearances as well so keep an eye out for some very popular characters in a blink and you'll miss it cameo.

All in all, this was a very good second season.  I have to admit that the first felt a little bit more cohesive to me but here, the characters continued their growth and we got to see some very well acted moments between the characters themselves that has gotten me very excited to see just what we'll get in season three, especially after the nice twist in the ending that showed us a little bit more of Queen's past.

Show 7/10

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