Brought to us by Lauren Montgomery (director of the animated Wonder Woman feature) and produced by DC alumni Bruce Timm, comes the next in DC Universe’s animated feature films; Green Lantern: First Flight. First Flight is presented with the voice talents of Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer, Michael Madsen and many more. It’s rated PG-13 for sequences of Sci-Fi action violence and language.
The story begins with the movie’s main hero, Hal Jordan, testing out a flight simulator and helps establish his character nicely. Hal is the type of pilot who love pushing his equipment to their limits and loves being in the air, however he’s force to take things very easy and is bored with his career. Suddenly we are taken to the desert where a space craft is crashing down to Earth, its pilot ordering his ring to find “him” upon the ships crash. Hal, simulator and all, is suddenly whisked away by a strange green light and he is told by the dying pilot that he has been chosen to become a Green Lantern; a protector of the universe.
Shortly afterwards Jordan is met by fellow Lanterns and is taken to OA (The base planet for the Lantern Corps.) to see if he is worthy of bearing such a weapon/tool as a Green Lantern ring. After some dialog from other Lanterns and the Guardians (short blue fellows who run the corps), it’s Lantern Sinestro who welcomes Jordan the most. As Jordan goes on his first mission with Sinestro it becomes clear that his partner, someone called the greatest Green Lantern of all time, has a hidden agenda and intends to change things greatly. It’s up to Hal and the other Lanterns to find something called the yellow element and stop those who intent to use its power for their personal gain.
As DC continues producing these animated features it seems the talent behind them get better and better. First Flight is animated as good if not better than the previous films (Besides the massive chins of the Guardians) and most of the voice cast seems to fit perfectly with their roles. Sadly, it’s Michael Madsen’s role that seems the most off for his voice. Madsen voices a Lantern named Kilowog and it’s shown in previous media that Kilowog has a big booming voice to fit his massive body and Madsen, as talented as he is, doesn’t have the voice for that character.
All of that aside the only major complaints I have stem from me being a Green Lantern fanboy. If someone comes into this an occasional reader of the comics I’m sure they’d think this was a good movie and I’d have to agree. However, if basing it on the comics you’ll notice the plot shifts drastically. Some characters die when they should have lived, the Lanterns all recharge their rings in the central power battery instead of having their own small lanterns and the Lanterns are able to kill their targets which is a serious deviation. Even the method in which Sinestro plans his mutiny and how he receives his ring are extremely different. At times it feels like you’re watching an animated version of Training Day with Jordan playing the “do it by the book” cop and Sinestro being a “do whatever it takes” type.
All of that aside, I can’t get over how nice of a DVD these animated features get. Besides owning the actual movie my main reason for buying these is for the special features and this one doesn’t disappoint in the least.
The Two Disc edition comes with these features:
– A seven minute first look at DC’s next animated feature, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
– From Graphic Novel to Orignal Animated Movie – Justice League: The New Frontier
– Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess (Behind the scenes look at the animated feature)
– Batman: Gotham Knight – An Anime Evolution (Showing how Batman was taken into the anime type of cartoon)
– Blackest Night: Inside the DC Comics Event (A very interesting, to me at least, backstory and summary of DC’s latest crossover event.)
– Trailers for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Ben 10: Alien Force, Bakugan and Batman: Gotham Knight.
-Behind the Story – Geoff Johns covers the history/mythology of Hal Jordan and how Johns was brought in. (I eat this stuff up)
– An episode of Duck Dodgers: The Green Loontern (Duck Dodgers gets a Green Lantern costume by mistake at the dry cleaners and must help stop Sinestro from killing the entire Corps.)
– In Brightest Day, In Blackest Nigh: The Green Lantern Corps – Profiles of Sinestro and the Guardians of the Universe.
– Bruce Timm’s Top Picks (Once and Future Thing pts 1 and 2 from Justice League Unlimited)
– A digital copy of the movie
All in all if you’re a Green Lantern fan this DVD should be a nice addition to your movie collection. The story, while being different from what you’re used to, is fine in it’s own continuity and the bonus material on the DVD are certainly worth it.
Movie Rating: 2.5 out of 5
DVD Rating: 5 out of 5