Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Blu-ray Review - Swamp Thing: The Complete Series (2019)

Available on Blu-ray and DVD!

Swamp Thing: The Complete Series will arriving on Blu-ray (+ Digital Code) and DVD today from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. There are no special features or bonus extras.

Based on the DC Comics series by Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, Swamp Thing was created by Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden for the DC Universe streaming service. Originally, the first season was given an order of 13 episodes but it was later cut down to 10 episodes. Just after the season premiere aired on May 31, 2019, the series was canceled. While there hasn't been an official reason announced for the cancellation, it most likely had to do with the fact that the promised $40 million tax incentive from North Carolina turned out to be only $14 million.

Set in Marais, Louisiana, the series centers around CDC doctor Abby Arcane (played by Crystal Reed) returning to her hometown to investigate a deadly virus, dubbed the "Green Flu," that has infected several locals, including a young girl, Susie Coyle (played by Elle Graham). Shortly after her arrival, she meets Alec Holland (played by Andy Bean), a disgraced biologist who was hired by her adopted father, Avery Sunderland (played by Will Patton), to study the marsh. After being attacked by Sutherland's hired hands, Alec is shot and left to die in the swamp. The swamp mutates Alec into a plant-like creature — Swamp Thing (played by Derek Mears)

The rest of the cast includes Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Beals, Kevin Durand, and Ian Ziering.


Final Thoughts

After binge-watching all 10 episodes of Swamp Thing over the weekend, I wish the series had continued with a second season. Sure, there are many problems with the story, which I'll get to in a minute, but overall I enjoyed watching it.

Derek Mears gives a great performance as Swamp Thing, who should have been the center character but instead was forced into the background while secondary characters took the spotlight. Crystal Reed does an alright job playing Dr. Abby Acrane but the writers spent too much time focusing on her story arc.

The big baddie, Dr. Anton Arcane, from the '80s Swamp Thing movies and the '90s television series doesn't appear in this adaptation. In his replacement is Avery Sunderland (played by Will Patton) and Dr. Jason Woodrue (played by Kevin Durand), which their characters were left in limbo thanks to the series cancellation.

The Blue Devil subplot was poorly written and felt pointless, especially when you add in Ian Ziering's bad acting.

The picture and sound qualities for all the episodes on the 2-disc set were topnotch. It would have been nice if there were a few special features.

Overall, despite some storytelling problems, Swamp Thing had the potential to improve if the series was allowed to continue. Here's hoping Swamp Thing: The Complete Series does well enough on Blu-ray and DVD so it won't be the last time we see the Swamp Thing on-screen.



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