Hold tight, your eyes may start bleeding after watching the pilot episode for DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
Well that was fun! Mad 1000 mph fun.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow has a very retro family-hour feel to its comic book approach. Sort of like a throwback to the colourful live action superhero shows of the 70s and 90s, but with all the effects and budgetary that 2016 allows a channel like The CW to throw at it.
The pilot just doesn't stop. We're only seconds in to the show and already we have our bad guy to contend with - child murderer Vandal Savage. Then we're quickly introduced to Time Agent Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) who equally as quickly abandons his war torn dystopian world of 2066 to travel back 150 years and almost-but-not-quite-as-quickly assemble a rag-tag band of heroes and villains in an attempt to change the future.
Rip sells them on the line that in his time they're legends and this is their destiny. Rip's lying of course, he's gone for a group of expendables, back-up acts from The CW's other two big DC shows, Arrow and The Flash. These are people who have literally no consequence on the timeline - after all, we all know that messing with time can be a bad thing, right?
Joining Rip's second-rate time-traveling Justice League are The Atom, Firestorm, White Canary, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Captain Cold and Heat Wave, and off we go to for a romp to the 1970s as the Legends attempt to track down Vandal Savage, come face to face with Boba Fett wannabe Chronos, have a hysterical bar fight to Captain & Tennille, share a few corny jokes, get another child (of sorts) killed and drastically change to timeline.
It's a mad dash 45 minutes, with loads to fit in and lots of story to tell. In truth, the pilot could've benefited from an extended slot, not double length but maybe an additional 15 minutes would've done it more justice. However, Legends of Tomorrow does accomplish plenty in this opening episode, all while juggling the story of arcs of nine random individuals.
The acting is not great. The dialogue is not great. But neither to the point that it diminishes the series. In fact, it's good to have another bright, vibrant, fun comic book show, stripped of the dark themes that are present in Arrow, and other grim DC films.
The chemistry between the characters is not quite there, I can forgive that for now as it is the pilot episode. Of course, some cast members work better than others - the ever excellent Caity Lotz as White Canary for example, the bromance of Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold and Heat Wave, and the dismissing of Brandon Routh's Ray Palmer by Victor Garber's Dr Martin Stein is a joy to watch.
On the other hand, Casper Crump's Vandal Savage, although a child killer and mass slaughterer, doesn't feel menacing enough in his performance as the 'big bad' in the little we see of him. There's a lot of exposition about how terrible he is that we're just supposed to take on board for now. I'm also not digging Ciara Rennee's Hawkgirl so much, she's probably the most wooden among the cast, but again I'm willing to give this time to hopefully change.
Overall, Legends of Tomorrow is an enjoyable mad-cap comic-book romp through time. I enjoyed almost every moment of, what is quite proudly, a bit of a corny show. Feeling somewhat like a throwback to the seventies, it's perhaps apt that that era was the first stop for the Legends. It's a frantic opener, but one which I feel does more than enough to convince any superhero-loving fan to come back for more, and find out where in time the Legends go next.