When I first saw the trailer for Green Lantern: First Flight a few months ago, the geek in me had a field day. Even though I came late to the party as far as comic books went, I always thought Green Lantern from the DC Universe was one of the cooler heroes. Not only could he fly and control this weird green energy from his ring, but he was an intergalactic cop trying to keep the Earth (and the rest of his sector) from aliens and other baddies.
DC and Warner Brothers have put together another great animated film in their series that has included the recent Wonder Woman and Justice league: The New Frontier movies as well as Superman | Doomsday and Batman: Gotham Knight. Green Lantern: First Flight focuses on a slightly revamped origin story for Hal Jordan becoming the Green Lantern.
Hal Jordan is a test pilot, flying in a simulator when the film opens. Abin Sur, the Green Lantern who was keeping our sector safe, had been badly hurt and crashed on Earth, sending his ring to find someone worthy. The ring finds Jordan and takes him, simulator and all, to land near Sur’s downed spacecraft. Sur lives just long enough to tell him that someone would come to find him and see that Jordan puts on the ring.
Later, a group of Lanterns, including Sinestro, Boodikka, and Kilowog, come to find Abin Sur and whomever the ring had gone to. They take Jordan to Oa to meet the Guardians of the Universe, who guard the main power source (or Lantern) of the Green Lantern Corps. Representatives of the Corps, as Green Lanterns, patrol the universe in an attempt to keep order against the chaos. When Jordan is found to be your typical impetuous, undisciplined Earthling, he’s put under the supervision of senior Lantern, Sinestro.
From there we discover that Sinestro has plans of his own for a new order of the universe – one more able to use the power he’d been given and not be as restrained as the Guardians had been. Hal Jordan finds himself squarely in the middle of this battle between Sinestro and the Green Lantern Corps and must choose sides. It really mirrored the movie Training Day with Sinestro as Denzel Washington’s Alonzo and Hal Jordan as Ethan Hawke’s Jake. Corrupt cop takes new cop under his wing to try and corrupt the new kid to his way of thinking to ensure that the trainer’s ideals and way of life aren’t threatened.
Start to finish, I thought this was a great movie from WB & the DC Universe.
The animation style is similar to what we saw in the Wonder Woman movie – a traditional 2D style intermixed with some computer-generated bits. I thought it worked great for the Green Lantern universe, as the Guardians of Oa and the Corps deals with many types of beings and places. As such, the aliens were alien and alien worlds had an appropriate other-worldly feel with the mix of animation styles. Oa was gorgeous, with waterfalls and flying cities to match the Guardians’ seemingly endless power.
The voice cast was equally impressive, with Chrisopher Meloni as the voice of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Victor Garber as Sinestro, Tricia Helfer as Boodikka, Michael Madsen as Kilowog, John Larroquette as Tomar Re, Olivia d’Abo, Juliet Landau, and so on. My only quibble with the voices was with Garber as Sinestro. Though I think Garber is an amazing actor (I was a big fan of his on Alias), I never thought he achieved a truly Training Day-level as mean as Denzel Washington did in that movie. He just never sounded sinister enough for Sinestro. But beyond that, I thought the voice cast and direction from Andrea Romano was top notch just as Romano has done throughout her career doing Warner Brothers & DC Comics animated features and series.
Beyond the movie, there were a number of extras. Most interesting to me were “A First Look at Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” and “Blackest Night: Inside the DC Comics Event.” In addition to those two, you have “From Graphic Novel to Original Animated Movie – Justice League: The New Frontier”, “Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess,” and “Batman: Gotham Knight – An Anime Evolution” focusing on three of the other WB/DC animated properties.
“A First Look at Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” provides a glimpse into the next WB/DC animated film where Superman and Batman are wanted fugitives after Lex Luthor becomes the President of the United States. Very much a buddy cop-type of flick, I look forward to seeing this powerful duo deal with their differences to try and clear their names and stop Luthor’s foul schemes. I’m excited to see how it turns out in September 2009.
And “Blackest Night: Inside the DC Comics Event” did something that hasn’t happened in a very long time. It made me excited about a series of comic books. The Blackest Night series focuses on millions of black rings flying across the universe, some of which land on Earth. The black rings cause the bodies of dead heroes to rise, from the Martian Manhunter and Aquaman to Bruce Wayne and many, many others. Zombies, but not zombies, these dead heroes seek to cause trouble for living heroes to feed on their fear. I am going to have to go order this series now, as I’m curious to see what zombie heroes do vs. their living counterparts.
Overall, I think Green Lantern: First Flight is a great entry into the continuing series of WB/DC animated movies being produced. I look forward to each new movie to see what’s next!
Check out more about Green Lantern: First Flight at the Green Lantern DVD website and their Green Lantern Power Ring Sweepstakes. And be sure to pick it up at your favorite online or brick-and-mortar retailer!
p.s. Click below to pick up Green Lantern: First Flight and other DC animated features at Amazon!