Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Even though I’m a comic book guy from like way back in the day I have no problem telling you that I’m watching DC’s new movie ‘Green Lantern: First Flight’ from a complete position of ignorance. As a kid I only remember the Green Lantern as the cat that wore the ring, a suspect power if ever there was one considering, in my youthful ignorance, that pretty much anybody can put on a ring. Not until I saw DC’s ‘Justice League: The New Frontier’ did I even learn the origin of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern. My homeboy William will no doubt say that this is because ‘I’m a Marvel’ and while this may be true I do know the origins of The Red Tornado, Wildfire, the Flash and a few other more obscure DC heroes but not the Green Lantern. But despite my unfamiliarity with the hero, especially considering this installment is again directed by Lauren Montgomery who also helmed the well received ‘Wonder Woman’ animated film as well as ‘Superman: Doomsday’, I had few worries that this would be entertaining as well and as it turned out, at least for the most part, I would not be disappointed.

As we observed in ‘The New Frontier’ a green clad alien crash lands on planet earth and bequeaths his magical ring onto pilot Hal Jordan (voiced by Christopher Meloni). The circumstances on how Jordan came across this alien are different but the bottom line is the same as it has something to do with Jordan’s pure heart which allows him, and only him, to wear the ring. Obviously Hal is giddy with joy over all the cool things he can do while sporting his green bling but its not long before the powers that control this ring track down Hal to see if he’s actually worthy to sport this ring.

Turns out the universe is chock full of Green Lantern’s who work the galaxy as intergalactic cops under the tutelage of a group super powered Smurf looking dwarfs led by some cat with the rather amusing name Appa Ali Apsa (William Atherton). Hal has a few things working against him in his efforts to prove to these Smurfs that he

belongs, with one being that there are no human lanterns, generally because humans suck. You know the company line… We’re violent, primitive, reactionary, smell funny… blah, blah, blah. Also the lantern that Hal is replacing was like the town favorite, particularly of the gruff lantern from the planet of pig people Kilowogg (Michael Madsen). Fortunately for Hal senior lantern Sinestro (Victor Garber) has faith in Hal and has chosen to take the earthling under his wing to show him the ropes. Now remember I don’t know anything about the Green Lantern universe but I’m not trusting this Sinestro cat one little bit. Obviously calling oneself a derivation of the word ‘sinister’ doesn’t help but also the red skin, pointed ears, yellow teeth and Smedley Doo-Right mustache does little to fill one with confidence about the righteousness of ones character.

Sinestro and Hal’s mission is a simple one and that would be find the person who killed Hal’s predecessor and bring them to justice. Hal will play the role of ‘Good Cop’ while Sinestro assumes the role ‘Godawful Terrible Cop’. Seriously, you don’t want Sinestro being the Lantern Cop pulling you over for intergalactic speeding. The ultimate goal of our Lantern’s is to track down the Yellow Power which is the one intergalactic force that can counter the awesome Green Power which energizes all those dope green rings. What would really blow is if this Yellow Power fell into the hands of someone who seriously hated the Smurfs, because they are weak spineless liberals, and decided the universe needed a new world order and knew how to use this power to make this happen. And the only way this unfathomable situation could get worse would be if the only person who could stop this force was a Green Lantern who has had their ring for all of about three days. Good luck with that universe.

Similar to the ‘Wonder Woman’ animated film I did find ‘Green Lantern: First Flight’ ultimately enjoyable, probably because I apparently get off on watching animated characters beat the snot of each other, but it does have it’s issues, just like Wonder Woman did. On one hand I am glad that this story didn’t regurgitate the Green Lantern’ story that most have probably already seen with ‘The New Frontier’ but that movie did more in way less time in illuminating us about the Green Lantern and Hal Jordan than this movie which was dedicated to the character. The only thing new I learned about Hal Jordan that I didn’t know already is that he is smart-aleck. The rest of the movie is a space police procedural with lots and lots and lots of action. Lots of action. This is the reason we don’t get to learn too much about the man who wears the ring is because that would’ve meant cutting out a space shoot out or a space chase or a space fist fight. One thing we’ve learned about these movies from both Marvel and D.C. is that their first commandment is ‘Thy Movie Shall Not Exceed 75 Minutes’. The previous animated movies I have seen seemed to have a decent story progression only to rush to the 75 minute finish line but this one had far less story elements and much more action so that by the time this one reached 75 minutes you’re pretty exhausted and glad to see it come to an end. Not in a bad way though, but by the time it closed out I’d seen enough space action.

Despite those criticisms ‘The Green Lantern: Fist Flight’ had top notch voice acting, the animation was very good and tends to get better with each successive animated film, and no one can accuse this tale of ever being slow moving or boring. I’m pretty sure this isn’t a treatment that true fans of the Green Lantern would probably be too happy with as it is sketchy at best, but for a novice to the character it was a very entertaining and action filled way to spend 75 minutes. Not 80 minutes, but 75.

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