Green Lantern: First Flight (2009, animated)
Plot: Test pilot Hal Jordan (Christopher Meloni) is elected to join the Green Lantern Corp, an intergalactic police force whose power comes from the green element. Hal is trained by the volatile Sinestro (Victor Garber) as they hunt down Kanjar Ro (Kurtwood Smith), a criminal who’s stolen the yellow element, the greatest threat to the Lantern Corp.
Green Lantern: First Flight moves at warp speed pace and packs a shit load of story into the little time it’s given. Hal Jordan is already given the ring before the opening credits even come on. The first half is just okay. It’s a Star Wars Cantina type atmosphere. What’s strange though is how accepting Hal is to all of this. He’s given some random ring by a purple alien, taken to outer space where he’s staring at giant lanterns, and then starts flying around to multiple planets. But he’s just like…okay. I get it’s a sci-fi movie, but come on. Can we get some kind of ‘OMFG’ moment from Hal? Hal also understands how to use this ring way too quickly. It’s like his first hour on the job and he’s pulling constructs out of his ass and taking down enemies in two seconds. That’s like a rookie QB coming into his first ever NFL game and throwing 4 touchdown passes. It just doesn’t happen. Hal does make pretty awesome ring constructs though. I like when he creates fly swatters and old shoes to take down the bug like aliens. I’m not crazy about Christopher Meloni’s voice performance though. It just doesn’t feel right for the character. He’s supposed to be this brash and arrogant pilot, but his voice sounds way too deep. Although, the voice did grow on me as the film went on. And that’s generally how I feel about this movie in general. It gets a lot better. When the threat of the yellow element really comes into the forefront, that’s where it gets bad ass. There are plenty of intriguing characters to go around as well. Kilowog was pretty awesome, and I love his voice. The Guardians who lead the Lantern Corp really are a punch of pricks though…so high and mighty. Right off the bat, Hal tells them off, and I love the little look Sinestro gives in response. Everyone swears a lot in this movie too. No hardcore swears, but a lot of ‘damns’ ‘craps’ and ‘hells.’ This is a solid introduction to the world of Green Lantern, although I think they could have fleshed out Hal’s character a bit more, but it’s a lot of fun nonetheless.
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Michael Madsen as Kilowog
-It just sounded right for who the character was. He was tough when he needed to be, and funny as hell when the script required it.
Worst Performance: Kurtwood Smith as Kanjar Ro
-I like Kurtwood Smith a lot, but he didn’t really do anything with this. It just sounded like Kurtwood Smith talking.
Best Line: “Excuse me. But the turmoil began when the yellow element was stolen under your watch.” –Hal to the Guardians
-Wow, Hal just owned the Guardians.
Worst Line: “Geez.” –Hal in response to the story of the yellow element getting stolen and the possible end to the Lantern Corp
-He just heard this critical and intense story, and all he can muster is ‘Geez?’ Not only that, it’s a monotone delivery, not even a concerned or excited ‘Geez.’
-The final space battle between Hal and Sinestro was pretty damn cool. The best part was actually the Lantern Corp watching from the ground as we see the green and yellow lights burst in the sky. It looked epic from the distance.
-How come when Hal’s ring isn’t on he changes back to his street clothes, but when everyone else’s ring is off, they remain in the Green Lantern garb. What the hell? I wanted to see if Kilowog was a jeans a khakis kind of guy.
-After Sinestro wipes out a bunch of Lanterns, their rings are all sent back to the Guardians. This was a pretty emotional scene as we hear all the rings hit the ground with a distinct finality.
-When Hal is touching his ring up against the giant green Lantern to study the other alien races, we are treated to a bunch of lame animation, a bad Hal Jordan scream, and cheesy music. I could have done without this.
-One of the first ring constructs Hal creates is a metal chair to hit an alien over the head with, ala a professional wrestling fight.
Bad Ass Moment:
-It’s not even close: Hal creating a giant golf club and slamming the yellow lantern through space was awesome.