Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011, animated)
Plot: An ancient enemy of the Guardians threatens the Green Lantern Corp. As they prepare for battle, Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion) tells stories of past and current Green Lanterns to his new apprentice (Elisabeth Moss) in order to inspire her.
The first thing that comes to mind when watching this movie is there’s a lot of green. I enjoyed this film, however, if you aren’t a Green Lantern fan, or at least not somewhat familiar with the mythology, you will be totally lost. Even I consider myself a knowledgeable Green Lantern fan, but I still thought things were explained a little half assed. I wish the Guardians themselves, the creators of this green power, were explained better. How the hell do they randomly have this power? It’s never really delved into. In the vain of Batman: Gotham Knight, we are told several tales of past and present Green Lanterns. This works because the stories all have great variety. We get a history lesson of the first Green Lantern, we get to see Kilowog as a rookie, there’s family drama, and plenty more. Some stories are certainly better than others. My favorite is probably the tale of Laira, the best Green Lantern, second only to Sinestro. She returns to her home world after becoming a Green Lantern and is forced to battle her family who’s oppressed the planet. It’s a very powerful back story. The images themselves are pretty stellar as well. In the first story, the original Green Lanterns fly around this huge ship trying to penetrate its defenses with the rings. The sound effects and look is top notch. One of the best Green Lantern constructs though has to be when Deegan, Kilowog’s drill instructor, creates this huge drill and drives it into a battle tank. Now that was awesome. I was disappointed with the Sinestro/Abin Sur story though towards the end. They are supposed to be two of the biggest characters in the Green Lantern universe, and if you know anything about Green Lantern, it’s that Sinestro eventually turns bad. That’s pretty much all this story was…Sinestro will be a bad guy at some point. Yawn. The voice acting is very strong all around. I liked Kilowog, even though his voice wasn’t nearly as deep as it should be. That character should just always have a deep voice, come on! The Guardians weren’t bad. For once, they didn’t seem like total dicks. Avra (the first Green Lantern), Deegan, and Bolphunga (a powerful, but arrogant warrior) were also highlights. Sinestro’s voice was disappointing though. His character in general didn’t do it for me at all. If you’re a Green Lantern fan, this is for you. If you aren’t, I still think you’ll be entertained.
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern
-Even though he doesn’t get his own back story, this voice just sounded right from start to finish: Inspiring, yet also kind towards his protégé.
Worst Performance: Jason Isaacs as Sinestro
-I like Jason Isaacs a lot, but his voice just didn’t work here for some reason. Sinestro sounded like he was the member of a Country Club.
Best Line: “I came here hoping that Ree’yu and Rubyn were responsible for Jayd’s atrocities, hoping you were still the man who once tucked his daughter in at night. But you are no longer that man. And I am a Green Lantern.” –Laira to her father
-It was the climax to my favorite of the Green Lantern tales, and a great character moment for Laira.
Worst Line: “Things are starting to get…hot out there.” –Sinestro looking out at the oncoming sun
-Not only is it a bad pun, it’s a bad pun from Sinestro. That’s just really disappointing.
-It’s without a doubt Laira battling her father at the end. Not only is it a good fight, but the planet they are on has this technology where memories are stored in glass eggs. As the two go at it, the eggs crack, and those memories play out like holograms as they battle to the death, and most of them are from when Laira was a child. Now that’s some powerful shit.
-There’s a lot of important shit going on as the entire Green Lantern Corp faces extinction, and Hal thinks this is an appropriate time to regale his student with stories?
-The end battle in which all the Green Lanterns battle Krona, otherwise known as Parallax, is pretty awesome. They get to push an entire planet (Oa) into him, so that was cool. And this is what Parallax should have looked like in the live action movie! But more on that next time…
-One of the stories involves Bolphunga, this battle hungry warrior, who is tricked into going to a desolate planet to find a so called powerful Green Lantern who turns out never really existed. It’s a clever idea, and the character of Bolphunga is funny, but it goes on way too long. It’s just him running around a forest being angry.
-When Deegan starts chanting the Green Lantern oath as he fights off a bunch of aliens, he gets through ‘In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night,’ and then he just goes ‘you fricking bastards.’
Bad Ass Moments:
-When the story of Avra (the first Green Lantern) is being told, we are treated to the first ever construct. It’s a magnificent sword, and the still image just looks fantastic and powerful. It’s a great moment.