Arrow: Uprising — review

Screenplay by Beth Schwartz and Brian Ford Sullivan.

If this episode did anything for Arrow, it was to add to the overnumerous take-offs of The Dark Knight Trilogy. Ever since those features revolutionised how the public view comic book adaptations, everything’s been at least somewhat inspired by it. Some too much, some not enough. Arrow‘s strange case is that it isn’t really inspired at all, yet it wants to resemble it as much as possible.

Here’s the thing: Green Arrow is a copy of Batman. The original character was inspired by him, and therefore it seems that every adaptation of him requires some sort of Batman inspiration. And since The Dark Knight Trilogy is the latest form, the dark grit is almost a given.

The problem with this is that The Dark Knight Trilogy is dark and realistic because it is. It wasn’t trying to be, it’s just the way everything tied-together based on the central idea and concept. What every great story needs is its world to be consistent in style, and Syncopy did so. Every aspect of filmmaking in those instances came together from the same place, and that’s why everything naturally click together. Arrow is problematic in this division, as it uses dark realism but not for anything. It’s just there. It’s gratuitous. It’s being done because of what looks like a lack of confidence by creators resorting to mimicking what’s worked before.

And it’s not just the style and tone. A lot of story elements have been lifted straight from Batman, too. It’s called Uprising, as in The Dark Knight Rises? There’s even a scene where the heroes confront Brick and his gang very much in the same manner as the crowd vs cops scene before the Bat intervened. They then rush at each other in the same way also.

What Arrow doesn’t seem to realise is that it’s not cinema. It doesn’t have to function like an ongoing serial. It’s television, and that’s such a useful medium, because that allows for variation. Episodes can change, and be different from each other. Rather than making each episode enjoyable on its own, Arrow is asking us to settle for mediocrity on the basis that generally the show’s probably quite good-ish. But that’s not how it works. Filler is the Bane of narrative. It has no place. Instead, I propose that Arrow decide to use art rather than just be art. Because right now, it’s showing no range.

Arrow: Uprising — tonal stereotype that achieves nothing 1/10.