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Someone give Joaquim Dos Santos a full length animated film please!
It has been said many times and it will be said again, director Joaquim Dos Santos is a brilliant animation director and having less than 12 minutes to tell a story is totally limiting what he can do. As usual with other DC showcase short films, this here Green Arrow short does a great giving both newcomers and long time fans an insight into the titular character.
Though not an origin story, at least this one is a pivotal event in Green Arrow's life unlike the previous "Jonah Hex" animated short which was pretty much a "just another day on the job" kind of thing. The story starts with Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, at the airport waiting to pick up his girlfriend Dinah. While figuring out how he is going to propose to her, Oliver spies his old nemesis, the assassin Merlyn, at the airport. Coincidentally a young and very important foreign princess is arriving and Oliver does not take long to put two and two together.
What follows is almost like Die Hard 2 with a twist. Hero in the right place at the wrong time saving someone at an airport. What could have been a standard superficial actioner gains more depth through its portrayal of Green Arrow as a very "human" superhero. He is just a guy who can shoot a bow and arrow real well;no "peak of human physical perfection" and not trained in every form of martial arts. Basically, he is not Batman and does fight a retreating battle to protect the princess, getting his butt handed to him a couple of times in the process. Bring in an explosive showdown with Merlyn on the runway, a frantic fist fight on conveyor belts and the dreaded Count Vertigo too, what could have been a romantic little night with Dinah just became the fight of Oliver Queen's life.
"Dc Showcase: Green Arrow" would have been the most awesome Dc showcase ever if its animation were as stylish as the previous two. Alas, it is pretty good looking movie standard fare, but standard nonetheless. It did not have a unique feel like The spectre's grindhouse film noir visuals or Jonah hex's stylish sun drenched colors. The animation was very fluid except in one particular running scene which looked weird and a little stiff in the way the characters' hands move as they ran. But that is a tiny nitpick that only appears once. The rest of the animation is highly professional and easily gives some of the best Japanese anime a run for their money.
Nonetheless, this animated short that accompanies the "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" OVA movie is sure to entertain. One can also pick up the "Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam" DVD or blu-ray to watch a extended version with added footage (or so they claim).
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