In 2166, an immortal tyrant named Vandal Savage conquered the world and murdered my wife and child. I have assembled an elite team to hunt him throughout time and stop his rise to power. Unfortunately, my plan is opposed by the body I’d sworn my allegiance to: the Time Masters. In the future, my friends may not be heroes, but if we succeed, they will be remembered as legends.
Rip Hunter, sorry, Captain Rip Hunter, isn’t a complicated man. He’s Dr Who with a proper time jumping spaceship and not a phonebox and he’s out to stop Vandal Savage from conquering the world. And it’s tinged a little, a lot, by the need for revenge.
But he can’t do it alone.
No, he enlists the help of some superheroes, eight of them in fact. Not nine, eight. Presumably because there are only another eight seats on the bridge of his spaceship (the Waverider). Handy that. At this point I’m thinking, time travel, ok, here’s an idea Rip, nip back in time, snuff out Vandal when he’s born, job done, move on. That would of course make for a very very short TV series, so instead we get to watch Hawkgirl (and Hawkman, complete set), Firestorm, White Canary, Atom, Heat Wave and Captain Cold battle through time.
But now we get to the nitty gritty. The CGI does look nice in places but some of the sets, well, not convinced. For example, the bridge on the Waverider looks a bit Star Trek ToS (or perhaps toss, both are equally applicable). The college in the 1970’s in the pilot episode just didn’t seem convincing and so on.
The delivery of some of the characters is a bit Red Dwarf Rimmer in places, perhaps too throw away. Rip Hunter with his “I’m from the East End of Landon” line made me cringe a bit, and some of the dialogue in general seems more about trying to cram an entire universe back story into our heads rather than actual characters going on a quest to save the world. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got some very good actors in on the project, but they can only work with what they’ve been given. And bluntly, the dialogue is a bit naff.
Superhero films are doing well. Marvel and DC are revelling in a renewed interest in their franchises, and for the most part it’s fantastic to see. There has been a huge wealth of talent, writers and artists, and it’s always been there for people to discover. Sadly though, this one we could have done without. Granted, we’re only a few episodes in and there’s potential there, but sad to say, I won’t be joining them on their adventure.