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I am a major fan of Green Lantern. Just something about the characters that I enjoy. I will admit that I really didn’t get into the Corps until an episode of Justice League simply called In Blackest Night. It is the first time we really get to see the Guardians and learn the belief system behind the Green Lantern Corps. It was an amazing episode that ended with one of the greatest scenes in the whole DC animated universe.
That is the moment when I was enamored with the Green Lantern Corps. This is also the moment when I became a fan of Superheroes again and turned away the anime and manga that my friends and I were consuming- Not that there is anything wrong with it. So when I learned not too long ago that they were making a Green Lantern animated movie, I was ecstatic. DC has probably the best animation departments in the comic industry. They produced Batman The Animated Series, Justice League, JLU, and several other shows that defined my childhood. Now the day has come for me to watch the first animated feature to focus on the Green Lantern, simply called, Green Lantern: First Flight.
The basic synopsis of the plot is this: Hal Jordan is given the Green Lantern power ring by a dying Alien named Abin Sur. Shortly after receiving his ring the Guardians Of The Universe sends a small group of Green Lanterns to take the Rookie Hal Jordan to Oa. There he stands before the Council as they decide if he should keep his ring. During the hearing the greatest Green Lantern, Sinestro, stands before the Guardians and vowed to train him. The Guardians allow this. Sinestro later informs Jordan of a great threat to the universe. The only weakness to the Green Lantern’s power has been stolen and the Guardians fear it will be used against them to cause anarchy and turmoil across the Universe. This movie is a story how they confront it.
The plot itself is a liberal adaptation of the origin story in which Hal Jordan gets the ring from Abin Sur. He is then met by Sinestro who trains him. During training they go to Korugar, Sinestro’s home world. There Jordan sees that Sinestro is a tyrant and oppresses his people with fear. Jordan informs the Guardians and they strip Sinestro of his power ring. Sinestro will forever bare a grudge against Jordan.
So for the most part the plot of the movie and Comic are similar but the movie omits Korugar. They still find ways to make Sinestro seem evil and just plain bad-ass. Watch the clip below to see how Sinestro functions in this movie.
Trust me when I say the next few minutes after the clip ends that Sinestro gets more brutal.
Most Green Lantern fans would probably call this a dumb move. Omitting Korugar is like omitting a key part of the Green Lanterny mythos, but I think it works better here. Instead of getting a sci-fi movie that explores humanity and the inherent evil of too much power we get a sci-fi cop movie. It has all the elements: a brash rookie, a dirty Cop, a murder investigation, a robbery, and an overbearing chief in the form of the Guardians. This makes it more enjoyable and less preachy. Which is a good thing. Not every sci-fi story has to have a message underneath it.
Now for the acting, or in this case voice acting. The voice acting in this movie is well done. Sinestro and Jordan are perfectly cast. Even the Guardians are given personalities and different voices, which I didn’t expect. You can’t find a better cast for an animated direct to DVD feature.
The only problem I did find with the movie was the animation. At times it was great and well done, and at others it was bad. The size of the Green Lantern badge changed several times and the CGI moments stuck out like a sore thumb. Still the animation for what its worth is excellent. Just those minor complaints can ruin the film for some people.
Overall Green Lantern: First Flight is a great movie and would make a nice edition to any comic or cartoon fan’s collection.
This review wouldn’t be complete without covering the special features. I bought the 2 disc special edition which comes with the following extra goodies:
Behind the Scene of DC’s Blackest Night
Exclusive Sneak Peak at DC Universe’s Upcoming Feature: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
Explore 3 other DC Universe Animated Movies.
Behind the Story with Geoff Johns. The New York Times Best-selling Author Writer Discusses the Mythology of the Green Lantern
Duck Dodgers series episode: The Green Loontern
Green Lantern Corps Character Profiles of Sinestro and The Guardians
2 Bruce Timm cartoons (2 episodes of Justice League Unlimited).
Now are these special features worth it? The Blackest Night behind the scenes bit is interesting as is the Geoff Johns discussion, but I believe on the comic fans will find these bits interesting. The best parts are on Disc Two with the Duck Dodgers and JLU episodes. I only wish they included the Justice League Episode Blackest Night but the JLU episodes are some of the best.
I strongly recommend buying the Two Disc edition. It give you the best bang for your buck and would satisfy any JLU fan.
Well thanks for reading this review. Join me tomorrow as I review the Week’s newest comics in New Comic Review.